Veterans Affairs Crisis Hotline saves lives one phone call at a time

Posted at 9:01 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 23:32:46-04

Statistically, 22 veterans commit suicide every day across the nation.

Central Texas Veterans Affairs has many resources to combat these numbers.

Brian Collins served on Fort Hood in the United States Army for four years.

"In the military, I was a senior gunner for air defense artillery. I shot missiles that were about ten feet long," Collins said.

Although his time in the military is over, his battle was far from it.

"Things weren't going the way I wanted them to. I decided that it would be better off for everyone if I wasn't even here. I was making plans to commit suicide," Collins said.

It wasn't until Collins spoke to his sister who put him in touch with a minister that Collins paused his plans.

"He said you need to call someone in the crisis hotline. It doesn't matter who just call someone and speak to them," Collins said.

So Collins made the phone call that saved his life.

"And I told them that I was at a place in my life where I can't handle everything anymore," Collins said.

Collins spoke to a man that admitted him to the hospital where he stayed as a suicide risk.

"I think if it wasn't for him, I would have done it because I was so close," Collins said.

He says a caring gesture from a stranger saved his life.

Collins now works at the Veterans Affairs facility in Temple, a place caring for other veterans, just as it once cared for him.

"I have not met anyone that hasn't been kind to everyone," Collins said.

Including Suicide Prevention Coordinator Lisa Fowler who let all the Veterans know this message. 

"You're not alone. you're not alone in this. There are plenty of people here that want to help veterans be successful. Veterans are the men and women who protect our country. now it's our turn to protect them," Fowler said.

For non-veterans feeling suicidal you can reach out to the crisis text hotline (741741) which will link you with a crisis counselor.

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