Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
VA Thanks Jay Deputy Sheriff
VA staff from the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System (EOVAHCS) visited the Jay Police Department on Dec. 11 to personally thank Deputy Sheriff Cody Thompson who recently responded to a Veterans Crisis Line call.
As a token of VA’s appreciation, Mark E. Morgan, EOVAHCS Director, also presented Thompson with a Director’s Challenge Coin.
Following a call to the national Veterans Crisis Line, EOVAHCS Suicide Prevention staff attempted to contact the Veteran, but could not. Due to concern for the Veteran’s safety, VA staff contacted the Jay Police Department and asked them to conduct a welfare check.
Thompson spent approximately 90 minutes with the Veteran and his friend, and helped develop a plan for the friend to drive the Veteran to the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, where he was seen in the Emergency Department and admitted.
“For our police officers to take that amount of time is significant,” said Daphne Hillhouse, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Tulsa. “I really credit the Deputy Sheriff for making a face-to-face connection and spending time problem solving and talking with him.”
Hillhouse said VA relies on local police officers to conduct these vital welfare checks and thanked police for their critical assistance to VA and Veterans.
“Police officers are on the front line,” she said. “We rely on police to go out and put eyes on people, to use their empathy and decide if a person is safe.”
Veterans Crisis Line
For immediate help through a crisis, Veterans or concerned family members or friends of a Veteran can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1, using the online chat, or texting to 838255. These services provide free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/.