OPERATION S.A.V.E. will help you act with care and compassion if you encounter a Veteran who is in a suicidal crisis. The acronym S.A.V.E. helps one remember the important steps involved in suicide prevention: S - Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognized. A - Ask the most important question of all. V - Validate the Veteran's experience. E - Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help.
Sonja Encke is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the Grand Junction VA Health Care System. She has been in the role of suicide prevention coordinator at the Grand Junction VA since 2007, providing consultee services to clinicians as an expert in suicidiology. Sonja provides educational programming relating to suicide prevention to community organizations at no charge.
September is Suicide Awareness Month.