Rebecca Hodgson has started in the office as the new Traill County VSO.
We all can take action to help prevent suicide, but many people don’t know what they can do to support the Veteran or Service member in their life who is going through a difficult time. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. Suicide prevention can start with one simple act of support: Be There.
Veterans, Service members, and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.
The responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances — from those coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans dealing with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.
Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 2.8 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis nearly 74,000 times. The Veterans Crisis Line anonymous online chat service, added in 2009, has engaged in more than 332,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service to provide another way for Veterans to connect with confidential, round-the-clock support, and since then has responded to more than 67,000 texts.
VA is working to make sure that all Veterans and their loved ones are aware of the Veterans Crisis Line. To reach as many Veterans as possible, VA is coordinating with communities and partner groups nationwide — including community-based organizations, Veterans Service Organizations, and local health care providers — to let Veterans and their loved ones know that support is available whenever, if ever, they need it.
- Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone
- Start a confidential online chat session at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat
- Send a text message to 838255 to connect to a VA responder
- Take a self-check quiz at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/quiz
- If you or a Veteran you know is in crisis, find a facility near you
- Visit www.MilitaryCrisisLine.net if you are Active Duty, Reserve, or Guard
- Connect through chat, text, or TTY if you are deaf or hard of hearing
The Barnes County Veterans Service Office in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Fish and game has announced the 2017 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt for Veterans that are 50% or greater disabled. The Disabled Veteran Hunt will take place on Monday, November 13 and Tuesday, November 14 at Camp Grafton, ND. Applications are due by August 31. Please stop by a County Veterans Service Office for an application.
There is a Vietnam Veterans and Family Picnic on August 26th from Noon to 5pm held at the Riverside Park in Grand Forks. Vietnam Veterans Lapel Pins will be presented as well as other items. Hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, chips, soft drinks, and water will be served. The picnic is being organized by Prairie Grass Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and the University of North Dakota Army ROTC. For more information, contact Peggy Vanyo at 701-772-4672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fargo VA Medical Center, 2101 Elm St., will host a veteran orientation class from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30. The free orientation is open to all veterans. Veterans are also encouraged to bring a guest to the orientation, such as a fellow veteran or family member. The orientation will take place in the medical center’s third floor auditorium. During the orientation, attendees will receive information on health benefits, resources and care available within the Fargo VA Health Care System. Optional tours of the medical center will be available before the orientation. Arrive before the orientation at 2 p.m. to receive a tour of the facility; staff members will be waiting to meet attendees at the main entrance. For more information, call the Fargo VA’s Public Affairs Office at (701) 239-3724.
FARGO VET CENTER NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grand Forks Vet Center new location
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (March 28, 2017) – The Department of Veterans Affairs Grand Forks Vet Center will be located at 3001 32nd Ave. S., Suite 6A, Grand Forks, N.D., 58201, beginning April 3.
Vet Center counseling services include individual, group, marital/family, military sexual trauma, and bereavement. Drug and alcohol referral services are also available. The Vet Center also acts as a liaison with VA and other community resources to ensure any Veteran will get the help they need.
The Vet Center is completely free and confidential. For more information about Grand Forks Vet Center services, call (701) 620-1448 or visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has now established presumptive service connection for diseases that are associated to exposure with contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The presumption applies to active duty, reservists, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (does not have to be consecutive days) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. The presumptive conditions are:
Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
Veterans and family members are already eligible for certain medical care benefits; now Veterans can file a benefits claim for the presumptive conditions to become service connected for those conditions. To file a claim or if you have questions, please contact me.
The Camp Lejeune Family Member Program is for family members of Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune. From August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, people living at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to contaminated drinking water. On August 6, 2012, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 was signed into law. This law requires the VA to provide health care to Veterans who served on active duty at Camp Lejeune and to reimburse eligible Camp Lejeune Family Members (CLFM) for eligible health care costs related to one or more of 15 specified illnesses or conditions:
· Bladder cancer
· Breast cancer
· Esophageal cancer
· Female infertility
· Hepatic steatosis
· Kidney cancer
· Lung cancer
· Multiple myeloma
· Myelodysplastic syndromes
· Neurobehavioral effects
· Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
· Renal toxicity
If the Veteran served at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 and you were a spouse or dependent of the Veteran at that time, then you may meet the criteria for the CLFM Program. You can apply online at https://www.clfamilymembers.fsc.va.gov/App/StepApplicant or fill out a paper application and submit by mail, a CVSO can help you with this process. A family member will need proof of dependency and Camp Lejeune residency. If a family member has one of the illnesses or conditions, a physician’s form will also need to be filled out to possible reimbursement.
Bismarck’s Civil Air Patrol is once again supporting the Wreaths Across America Event in Bismarck & Mandan. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 17th at 11:00am at the ND Veterans Cemetery (south of Mandan). See the attached flyer for additional information on how to sponsor a wreath for $15 via check or PayPal (www.BismarckCAP.com). Sponsorship deadline is November 27, 2016. For any questions or assistance, please contact Bismarck’s Civil Air Patrol Squadron at (701) 390-9593 or email: BismarckCAP30@gmail.com.
In remembrance of beloved Veterans we miss at Christmas, and in support of families and friends who may find rejoicing difficult, please join us for a:
Blue Christmas Service
Monday, December 12th at 6:30 p.m.
St. Rose of Lima Church, 503 3rd St SE, Hillsboro, ND
Please RSVP – Emily Cost, Traill Co. VSO, 701-636-4414 or 701-430-7059
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 4, 2016
Fargo VA begins new Veterans Choice Program initiative to help Choice-eligible Veterans better coordinate their medical care in their communities
FARGO, N.D. – Beginning Oct. 4, Veterans enrolled in the Fargo VA Health Care System who are eligible for the Choice program will now be able to work directly with VA staff located in Fargo to help schedule and coordinate community medical care appointments.
Entitled the Choice Program Care Coordination initiative, Veterans can contact the Fargo VA Health Care System Clinical Resource Management Department at 866-517-9363 to facilitate their healthcare needs in their respective communities.
The initiative is a direct response from Veterans reporting concerns that calling an out-of-state Veterans Choice Program third-party administrator for scheduling of community medical care resulted in coordination challenges attributed to the administrator’s lack of understanding of North Dakota and Minnesota geography and other issues unique to the area. Under the initiative, the VA is re-establishing direct connections with Veterans.
Because of an understanding of the local geography and relationships with community providers, Fargo VA staff will help Veterans schedule and coordinate community care appointments. Veterans Choice Program third-party administrator staff will continue to provide administrative and provider support.
“The VA is working every day to improve the community care experience,” said Dr. Baligh Yehia, Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Community Care. “Innovative solutions like this one, developed in direct response to Veterans’ and community providers’ concerns, are key to the development of our consolidated community care program. We cannot lose sight that healthcare is local and we will need flexibility to meet the needs of each community across North Dakota, Minnesota, and the nation.”
The Fargo VA’s Choice Program Care Coordination initiative is one of only a few of its kind in the nation. The current process and laws make community care cumbersome. The Care Coordination initiative is just one way VA is working to improve the community care experience for Veterans. VA is also actively working with all its partners, especially Congress, to simplify community care eligibility criteria, streamline clinical and business processes, and standardize provider payment. The VA is committed to providing a Community Care program that is easier to understand, simple to administer, and improves the community care experience for Veterans, providers and VA Staff.
“I am very pleased to see the focus placed on local Veteran and provider needs,” said Lavonne Liversage, Fargo VA Health Care System Director. “Having Fargo VA staff work directly with Veterans and our community healthcare providers will allow for better communication of care needs and improved Veteran experience; this initiative will benefit those who have given so much.”
For more information or questions relating to the Care Coordination initiative, please contact the Fargo VA Health Care System Clinical Resource Management Department at 866-517-9363.
– END –
VA Conducts Largest Analysis of Veterans Suicides
Dear Veterans, Family Members, and Readers,
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) conducted a comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the US. This extends the VA’s knowledge from a previous report in 2010 where the VA estimated 22 Veterans committed suicide every day. The new analysis shows that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide. The final report will be published later this month. Key findings from the study are:
- 65% of all Veterans who died from suicide are 50 years or older
- Veterans accounted for 18% of all deaths from suicide in the US, a decrease from 22% in 2010
- Since 2001, adult suicide rates in US increased 23% while Veteran suicide rate increased 32% in that same time period, making risk of suicide 21% greater for Veterans
- Since 2001, the rate of suicide of Veterans who use VA services has increased 8.8%, while Veterans who do not use VA services increased by 38.6%
- In that same time period, the rate of suicide of female Veterans who used VA services increased 4.6% while female Veterans who did not use VA services increased 98%Immediate help for Veterans and family members/friends concerned for a Veteran is available at www.veteranscrisisline.net or calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or texting at 838255.Very Respectfully,Traill County Veterans Service OfficerOffice Cell: email@example.com
- Fax: 701-636-4415
- Phone: 701-636-4414
- Emily Cost
- I wanted to keep you posted that I am projecting to be on maternity leave from August 29th to November 18th. The North Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs is planning to provide office hours for help on Tuesday and Thursdays while I am on leave. These dates for leave are currently tentative, and I will continue to keep everyone posted as the time gets closer for Baby Cost to be born.
- The VA is taking new measures to prevent suicide to include same-day access for Veterans with urgent mental health needs at all their points of care (medical care facilities, Vet Centers, VA Crisis Line and other outreach points). The VA is also planning on expanding telemental health care, hiring 60 new crisis intervention responders for the Veterans Crisis Line, and building new collaboratives with other researchers and healthcare providers.