Posted by Dr. James Bender on March 21, 2012
Doc Bender on top of the Ziggurat of Ur in Southern Iraq, in February 2009.
Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.
Hello. A friend at work recently asked me about patient confidentiality and suicide prevention hotlines. After our discussion, and speaking with a few others, my informal poll told me chances are there may be misinformation floating around. So I reached out to Patricia Lucas, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suicide prevention coordinator for the Washington, D.C. area, and decided to spotlight a free, confidential resource for service members and veterans in emotional crisis this month—Veterans Crisis Line.
Partnered with VA and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the crisis line is available 24/7 by calling 800-273-TALK (8255) and pressing “1,” online chat or text message to 838255. In five years, the crisis line has fielded more than 500,000 calls and made more than 18,000 “rescues” where emergency services went to the caller’s location.