During the last two weeks of August 2021, veterans reached out to the Veterans Crisis Line at far higher rates than during the same period last year, with the hotline receiving 98 percent more texts, 7 percent more calls and 40 percent more online chats. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials attribute the increase to multiple factors, including the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

With that anniversary looming, counties across the nation are planning commemoration ceremonies and community events to honor the victims and first responders who lost their lives. However, the uptick in veterans seeking mental health assistance suggests a need for increased support for the veterans, military and their families who were and are affected by the Sept. 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.

Here’s how you can help:https://www.va.gov/health-care/health-needs-conditions/mental-health/suicide-prevention/