Suicide Prevention with Frederick MacRae (Podcast Episode 16)

In VA Palo Alto Podcast 16, we talk with lead Suicide Prevention Coordinator Frederick MacRae and cover a range of topics dealing with suicide prevention: from the Veterans Crisis Line and recognizing suicidal behavior, to how to get help within VA and the latest web- and app-based technology.

Mr. MacRae is a licensed social worker who joined VA Palo Alto as a Suicide Prevention Coordinator in 2009 after 19 years of private practice in psychotherapy. In addition to the lead Suicide Prevention Coordinator for VA Palo Alto, he also serves as the VISN 21 Suicide Prevention lead and has been involved in numerous work groups at the National level dealing with Suicide Prevention.

Phone and In-Person Resources

 Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255 press “1” for Veterans or Text 838255.  A confidential chat and local resources are available at www.veteranscrisisline.net.

National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness — and their family members, friends and supporters — can make the call to (877) 424-3838  or chat online with the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Legal Help: Find help from the VA on our Veteran Legal and Justice Outreach website or from CalVet’s Incarcerated Veterans program.

VA Coaching into Care: This initiative provides “coaching” to help family and friends recognize when a Veteran needs support and how to connect them to local resources. Call (888) 823-7458 or visit the Coaching Into Care website to connect with a coach.

Vet Centers: This program provides a broad range of counseling and outreach services to eligible Veterans and their families, right in the community. Call (800) 927-8387 or visit www.vetcenter.va.gov to find a Vet Center near you.

Mobile Apps and online interactive sites

Mobile VA: Find information on PTSD Coach and many other apps aimed to help Veterans at www.mobile.va.gov.

With MY3, you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide. Find more about this app on the my3app.org.

Virtual Hope Box is a multi-media coping skill app designed for individuals struggling with depression (particularly military service members). Find more about this app on the PsyberGuide website.

Vets Prevail: Smart phone accessible, online therapy and chat with trained peer support at www.vetsprevail.org.

Make The Connection: Visit www.MakeTheConnection.net for videos and resources designed to connect Veterans, their family and friends with information and solutions to issues affecting their lives.

PscyhArmor Institute S.A.V.E. suicide prevention course developed in collaboration with VA is available for free at Psych Armor. https://psycharmor.org/courses/s-a-v-e/

Community Providers

Community Providers’ can find educational resources and tools for treating Veteran patients with various mental health conditions on the VA’s Community Provider Toolkit website.

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