Josh Lampert started having psychotic episodes in college, when he was 19 and living in Seattle.
"My diagnosis was psychotic depression," he told his father, Chuck, during a visit to StoryCorps. "You can hallucinate sounds and smells and tastes. And my mistake was doing drugs, because sometimes the line got blurred of what is real and what isn't. Other people seemed like they had so much — social relationships and girlfriends, and I was just trying to function."
When Dan Miller was growing up, his family lived about a mile away from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. He had eight siblings and the family was poor. His father, Robert, supported them by working at Consolidated Papers Inc.
Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line work to help veterans through their darkest hours. The Department of Veterans Affairs runs the hotline, the only national line dedicated to helping veterans in crisis.
A report in February was the most comprehensive to date from the VA on veterans and suicide. As of that publication, the Crisis Line had made approximately 26,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans.
Thomas Weller would have died in a snow bank in 1964 had a stranger not helped him. Weller, 65, has been helping strangers in the same way ever since.
"I've been called the Lone Ranger. And I've been called an angel more times than I can count," he says. "But, I'm no angel! When you help somebody else, you help yourself. And, it's ... real gratifying."
Click on the audio link above to hear Weller's story.
Audio produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher.