VA staff’s instant action prevents a Veteran suicide
by Kristen Parker
September 25, 2019
Many common risk factors for suicide are treatable. As a community, we can #BeThere and save Veterans lives through stories of hope and recovery.
In the photo above, Cleveland VA’s lifesaving team includes (from left) Jose Rivera (ED nurse manager), Kimberly Miller (infusion clinic nurse), Jennifer Davis (dietitian), Erin Valenti (infusion clinic nurse manager), Alexandra Murray (psychiatry intern) and Rocco Burke (police officer).
It’s not often that we talk about suicide in terms of lives saved, but recently, the Cleveland VA team saved a Veteran from ending his life.
He came in for his medical appointment for treatment just like any other day. During a casual conversation with a VA team member, he shared his plan for suicide. He had lost hope and didn’t feel he had anything more to offer.
The VA team member wasn’t a mental health provider, a nurse or a doctor, but is a compassionate VA employee who knew how to #BeThere. The VA team member immediately engaged members of the Veteran’s treatment team.
They showed compassion and talked with the Veteran about his needs and together, then they developed a plan that helped him feel safe.
Every member of the VA team flawlessly executed their role to save this Veteran’s life. They got him to the emergency department and, eventually, to the psychiatric assessment and observation center for further treatment.
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