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Helping a veteran in crisis: An illustrated intervention

Our comic is based on 2 intervention models: VA SAVE and LivingWorks' safeTALK

Helping a veteran in crisis:  An illustrated intervention
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)

This illustrated story features someone considering suicide. If you are in crisis or helping someone in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has certified listeners on call: 9-8-8.

(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)
(Nikki Wolgamott for Project Optimist)

Our comic is based on 2 intervention models:

  • The VA SAVE model: Signs of suicide should be recognized. Ask about suicide. Validate feelings. Encourage help and expedite treatment.
  • The LivingWorks' safeTALK model: Notice calls for help. Ask: "Are you thinking about suicide?" Listen. Keep safe (i.e. help connect them to life-affirming resources).

Resources

Take an online course in suicide intervention through PsychArmor.

Search for safeTALK and ASIST training by location through the LivingWorks site.

For those in other high risk groups or supporting different populations, 988lifeline.org has resources on Black mental health, LGBTQ+ support, maternal mental health and other groups.

This comic was originally published in the Project Optimist newsletter on September 28, 2022.

About the project

Journalist Janelle Bradley poses for a photo on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, outside her Albertville, Minn., home where she lives with her husband and two children. (Courtesy of Jen Moeller)
Journalist Janelle Bradley poses for a photo on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, outside her Albertville, Minn., home where she lives with her husband and two children. (Courtesy of Jen Moeller)

This project on veteran suicide prevention was developed and led by Janelle Bradley. Explore the whole series.

Part 1: I lost a veteran to suicide, so I went on a search for preventions that work

Part 2: The VA helps prevent suicides with a process that starts with a question

Part 3: Here's where to get connected after launching a veteran suicide intervention

Part 4: Firearm safety is key to veteran suicide prevention – here's why

An illustrated intervention: Helping a veteran in crisis

Series page | Veteran suicide prevention: From a personal story to solutions

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