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Blue Star Support Circles: Upstream Solutions to Crisis is an innovative new program from Blue Star Families. This program provides critical resources to those closest to Veterans and service members - including family members and trusted friends–so they can support them when they need it most.

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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

Find shareable information about Blue Star Support Circles here:

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WHAT ARE BLUE STAR SUPPORT CIRCLES: UPSTREAM SOLUTION TO CRISIS?

  • Blue Star Support Circles are facilitated, non-clinical cohorts for Veteran and service member supporters. We understand that family members and friends are best positioned to identify and support a Veteran or service member heading toward crisis. 
    • This cohort-based pilot program provides peer-based connection, evidence-based training, resources, and referrals to empower them to support their Veteran or service member.
  • Participants will attend 8-weeks of virtual courses where they will work with mental health experts and learn to recognize early signs of a crisis and safe ways to intervene.
    • In addition, participants will:  
      • Connect with peers in a virtual “Neighborhood”
      • Get plugged in with partner organizations for additional support
      • Create Crisis Response Plans 
      • Learn about secure firearm storage and other lethal means of safety
      • Adopt and incorporate self-care practices into daily life/habits
  • How Blue Star Support Circles got started:
    • Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched a groundbreaking initiative known as the Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) to officially recognize the need to include families and support systems as a part of the solution to the growing Veteran and service member suicide problem. 
    • It's an honor for  Blue Star Families to be one of the organizations selected to create a suicide prevention program with the SSG Fox Grant. Blue Star Support Circles: Upstream Solution to Crisis, aims to be part of the solution to prevent suicide for Veterans and service members.
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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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I’M INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING:

Name(Required)
I'm affiliated with:

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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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SUICIDE AND CRISIS PREVENTION LINE:

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  • What is the Suicide and Crisis Prevention Line?
    • 988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress, including
      • Thoughts of suicide
      • Mental health or substance use crisis, or
      • Any other kind of emotional distress
    • 988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
  • What do I need to do to connect with the Crisis Prevention Line? 
    • People can call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
    • Call 988, then press 1 for the Veteran Crisis Line
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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  • What are Blue Star Support Circles?
    • Blue Star Support Circles: Upstream Solutions to Crisis is a facilitated, non-clinical, innovative peer-based program that will bring Veteran and service member friend networks together to connect, learn, and support each other in a safe and virtual environment. 
    • Our mission is to empower military and Veteran family members to recognize, understand, and intervene with their service member or Veteran before their struggle becomes a crisis. 
  • Why was this program started? 
    • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced a $52,500,000 grant program called the Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) to address the service member and Veteran suicide crisis. 
    • Blue Star Families is honored to be one of the organizations selected to empower family members to be part of the solution in a meaningful way. 
    • Through this grant, Blue Star Families is launching this first-of-its-kind pilot program – Blue Star Support Circles: Upstream Solutions to Crisis, geared toward creating proactive solutions for military and Veteran families.
  • Who can participate in a Blue Star Support Circles cohort?
    • If you are connected to a Veteran or service member who you would like to support, you are eligible to participate.
  • How can I participate or sign up for a cohort? 
    • First, you will fill out a "pre-survey," also known as an eligibility survey. You can access that in the "I'm Interested in Participating" tab.
    • Then, you will be contacted by someone at Blue Star Families to determine your eligibility and availability for joining a cohort. 
      • During this call, you will also be given detailed information about the schedule and what is needed, and you will be able to get answers to any additional questions you may have.
  • If I am chosen to be part of a cohort, is it confidential?
    • Confidentiality is essential. We expect each person to respect and maintain the group’s confidentiality. What is said in the group is not to be repeated or discussed at any other time or place.**

**Limits of confidentiality: If a member expresses intent to harm themselves or others, or there is suspected abuse of a child, elder, or disabled individual, the community manager will utilize appropriate resources to ensure everyone’s safety is met and maintained.

  • Do I have to pay to be part of a cohort? 
    • This program is free for all participants. All it costs is 8 hours of your time.

  • Can I refer a friend? 
    • Yes! If you know of someone who might be interested in or a good fit for a Blue Star Support Circles cohort, please direct them to this page, and they can fill out a form on the "I'm Interested in Participating" tab.
  • How do I know if I am ready to be part of something like this?
    • If you can dedicate one hour per week for eight weeks to learn more about supporting someone with mental health needs and want to do that in a group setting, then you are ready! 
    • If you are still unsure or have more questions, you can reach out to Hope Petersen, Blue Star Families Community Manager, at [email protected].
  • I know someone who needs mental health help NOW. What can I do?
    • If you or your loved one have suicidal thoughts or actions, seek help at the nearest emergency room or call 988 (press 1 for the Veterans Crisis Line) for mental health emergencies.
  • Are there any other resources I can refer to? 
    • Absolutely! The Department of Veterans Affairs is a great place to start learning about programs, services, and resources available to you and your loved one.
  • What if I am not eligible for a cohort, but I still want to help someone or learn how to help someone else?
    • First, thank you for your interest in this program! If you are a Veteran or service member, you can find your nearest VA Vet Center to access mental health resources, support, and outreach opportunities. 
  • What other organizations are part of Blue Star Support Circles?
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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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SSG FOX SUICIDE PREVENTION GRANT PROGRAM:

  • The Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) enables the VA to provide resources toward community-based suicide prevention efforts to meet the needs of Veterans, service members, and their families through outreach, suicide prevention services, and connection to VA and community resources. 
  • In alignment with VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide (2018), this grant program assists in further implementing a public health approach that blends community-based prevention with evidence-based clinical strategies through community efforts. 
  • The grant program is part of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019, signed into law on October 17, 2020. Click the Hannon Act Fact Sheet to learn more.
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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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OTHER RESOURCES:

At Blue Star Families, we know the importance of community and a strong network of support. So we knew we needed the help of partners, who are experts in their fields, to help make Blue Star Support Circles the most effective program possible. Learn more about how they’re making a difference for the military and Veteran communities below. 

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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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NEWSLETTER/EMAIL COPY:

The following script can be useful for conveying information about Blue Star Support Circles directly to your contacts. It’s easily customizable to fit your audience. 

 

Veteran and service member suicide has been a significant issue for far too long. 

That’s why Blue Star Families is honored to announce their pilot program called Blue Star Support Circles: Upstream Solution to Crisis. 

This program will empower military and Veteran family members to recognize, understand and intervene with their service member or Veteran before their struggle becomes a crisis.  

We’re stronger when we take care of one another, so they’re bringing the right kind of support to the most influential and trusted supporters - you. Learn more about Blue Star Support Circles

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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.

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SOCIAL MEDIA SCRIPTS:

These scripts can be useful when creating posts about Blue Star Support Circles. You can easily customize them to fit your communication style. Thank you, and don’t forget to tag Blue Star Families in your posts!

FACEBOOK @BlueStarFamilies
INSTAGRAM @BlueStarFamilies
TWITTER @BlueStarFamily
LINKEDIN @BlueStarFamilies

 

INFORMATION PAGE HERE

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GRAPHICS:

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Need Support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 (press 1 for Veteran Crisis Line) or chat 988lifeline.org.