Bay Pines to Host Suicide Prevention Awareness Fair Sept. 14 - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines to Host Suicide Prevention Awareness Fair Sept. 14

August 23, 2018

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BAY PINES, FL –
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will host a suicide prevention awareness fair on Friday, September 14, 2018. The activity will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the main entryways/lobbies of all Bay Pines facilities.

Facility locations include the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and outpatient facilities located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Naples, Sarasota, Sebring, and St. Petersburg. Vet Centers located in Clearwater, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Naples will also be participating. For address information, please visit www.baypines.va.gov and click “locations and directions.”

The fair activities will feature manned tables with information and resources. Resources available at each table will include #BeThere campaign materials, gun safety information and gun locks, Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) materials (brochures, wallet cards, risk assessment flyers, key chains, pill boxes), Florida Veteran Suicide Prevention Awareness Day campaign flyers, and other items. The event is open to the public.

In addition to participating in the planned fair activities, Veterans and their loved ones, friends, and others are encouraged to download, post and share the posters available at: www.visn8.va.gov/SaveALife.asp.

“Mental health and crisis support services are critical for people showing signs of suicide risk in their thoughts or behavior, but we must go beyond engaging mental health providers, to involve the broader community and reach Veterans where they live and thrive — before they reach a crisis point,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

“I encourage everyone to get involved in the national suicide prevention movement - from attending one of our information fairs and learning about the many resources available, to programing the Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255, press 1, in your personal mobile phone. The bottom line it that one Veteran suicide is too many, and we must do everything we can to help those in need of support,” she said.

The fair is being held on “Florida Veterans Suicide Prevention Awareness Day” during “Florida Veterans Suicide Prevention Awareness Week,” as designated by the state. The VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) – the parent organization to the Bay Pines VAHCS and six other VA healthcare systems located in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – has partnered with the Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs to raise awareness to suicide prevention and resources available to Veterans and their loved ones.

To learn more about the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and mental health services available to Veterans, please visit www.baypines.va.gov/BAYPINES/services/Mental_Health_Services.asp.