September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the Defense Department, and also in mental health communities worldwide. At the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) our mission is to bring the military community resources on psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and treatment, which ultimately helps in the battle against suicide.
We know that one of the keys to suicide prevention is getting the right resources to the right people at the right time. We rounded up some must-bookmark suicide prevention resources for everyone within the military community – service members, veterans, providers, family members, caregivers and friends. Please take a look and if you find any of them helpful, please share with others.
- Reach Out: The Military Crisis Line is a free service to help those who are contemplating suicide or who are worried about someone in danger. The crisis line provides a 24/7 access by phone at 800-273-8255, military press one, online chat and text service at 838255.
- Gather information: The Defense Suicide Prevention Office within the Defense Department provides advocacy, program oversight, and policy for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention efforts to reduce suicidal behaviors in service members, civilians and their families. The website provides tools, resources and information on suicide prevention.
- Watch Videos: AfterDeployment uses videos to help service members understand what they can do to prevent suicide, learn who is at risk, know the warning signs, shares examples of home, and explains the toll suicide takes on family members.
- Tools to Use: The Deployment Health Clinical Center offers a suite of tools including, "Suicide Prevention: A Guide for Military and Veteran Families" to recognize risk factors and "Suicide Prevention: Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings" to help manage challenges and improve coping skills.
- Learn the Signs: Real Warriors offers tools for line leaders and military families on ways to identify warning signs of suicide, and what to do. Real Warriors also offers warriors tools for when they are struggling.
- Understand the Issue: The National Center for Telehealth and Technology publishes the Defense Department Suicide Event Report annually. It records the number of suicides within the military and looks at suicide surveillance efforts throughout the military.
- Create a Message of Hope: This graphic generator from the Military Crisis Line helps you create a message to send someone you care about to let them know that you’re there.