The Chronicles Of Grant Countyveterans crisis line logo 50(The image was provided courtesy of the U S Department of Veterans Affairs.)

Memorial Day
Suicide Prevention

Today is Memorial Day – the day designated by the Federal government to honor all those who died while serving in the United States military. A number of people will visit area cemeteries to decorate the gravesites of the men and women in eternal rest at sites in Grant County and throughout southwest New Mexico.

Beyond visits to area cemeteries, Americans are encouraged to remember the men and women still with us who have worn the uniform of our country – both those that served in years past as well as those who serve in the U S military today.

According to a statement from The White House issued in November of 2021, "in an average day, 17 veterans die by suicide – not in a far-off place, but right here at home. Two service members on average die by suicide every day of the year."

Other sources indicated that the suicide levels among veterans and active-duty military personnel may be higher.

People who need help can contact the Veterans Crisis Line.

This service can be reached by dialing "988" and then pressing "1".

Individuals can also text 838255.

If you'd prefer, you can also chat online. The webpage for chat is located at

The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours each day, seven days a week.

"A caring, qualified responder will listen and help," noted a statement from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "Your call is free and confidential, and you decide how much information to share."

"Support doesn't end with your conversation," the statement continued. "Our responders connect you with resources that can help when you're in distress."

According to the VA, "every veteran is different, and many may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves. But some actions and behaviors can be a sign that they need help."

The VA noted that the following crisis signs require immediate attention:

Thinking about hurting or killing yourself;

Looking for ways to kill yourself;

Talking about death, dying, or suicide; and/or

Self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse, risky use of weapons, etc.

"If you are experiencing any of these and need medical attention, call '911' now," the VA indicated in a statement. "For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line – dial '988' then press '1'."

In addition to these signs of crisis, the VA noted a number of warning signs that may also indicate that a veteran needs help:

Appearing sad or depressed most of the time;


Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings;

Feeling as if there is no reason to live;

Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure;

Rage or anger;

Engaging in risky activities without thinking;

Increasing alcohol or drug misuse;

Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school;

Neglecting personal welfare and appearance;

Withdrawing from family and friends;

Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights;

Giving away prized possessions; and/or

Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will.

"If you are experiencing any of these," the VA indicated in a statement, "contact the Veterans Crisis Line now – dial '988' then press '1'."

In addition to the Veterans Crisis Line, the VA also offers a variety of services at the Silver City VA Clinic.

If you're struggling – or if you know a veteran who is struggling – with issues like PTSD, depression, grief, anger, or trauma, the Silver City VA Clinic offers counseling and other support.

The clinic is located at 2950 Leslie Road in Silver City.

The telephone number for the clinic is 575-538-2921.

A statement from the clinic indicated it is able to help with common conditions such as addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

According to the VA, "all VA health care facilities offer same-day help. You may qualify even without enrolling in VA health care."

For all of the men and women who have worn – and who wear – the uniform of our country:

Thank you for your service.

Do you have questions about communities in Grant County?

A street name? A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at

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© 2023 Richard McDonough

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