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San Diego VA Hospital Beefs Up Suicide Prevention

The Veterans Administration's Hospital in San Diego has beefed up its suicide prevention measures during the last few months. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

San Diego VA Hospital Beefs Up Suicide Prevention

The Veterans Administration's Hospital in San Diego has beefed up its suicide prevention measures during the last few months. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

During the last two years, investigative reporting and court cases have exposed that, on average, 1000 veterans attempt suicide nationwide every month.

That's about double the rate of suicide for the rest of the population.

Joanna Kadis (KAY diss) is the Assistant Chief of Social Work at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in San Diego.

She estimates 90 veterans have been on high risk suicide watch in San Diego at any given time during the last six months.

Kadis says since May, the V-A has taken a number of steps to catch vets who are contemplating suicide.

Joanna Kadis: Anybody is evaluated by either the social worker or the resident within 20 minutes of presenting to the medical center with suicidal thoughts.

Kadis says a psychiatric resident and a social worker are now on call in the emergency room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

 Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK