You are not alone. There is support.
The Defense Department takes the issue of suicide very seriously and is actively working to reduce the number of suicides.
Defense Suicide Prevention Office serves as the government oversight authority for the strategic development, implementation, centralization, standardization, communication and evaluation of Defense Department suicide and risk reduction programs, policies and surveillance activities to reduce the impact of suicide on service members and their families.
Everyone can help prevent suicide. Know how to recognize warning signs that signal an increase in the chance that a person may engage in suicidal behavior in the near future. The most dangerous warning signs are the presence of suicidal thoughts and actions. These are signs that a person needs help immediately! Other warning signs that might indicate a cause for concern include:
- Increase in substance use (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes)
- Feeling hopeless, like there is nothing you can do to improve your situation
- Feeling no sense of purpose, no reason for living
- Anger, rage, seeking revenge
- Reckless or risky behavior
- Feeling trapped or stuck in a bad situation, with no way out
- Staying away from family and friends
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Sudden changes in mood, no interest in things you usually like to do
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Guilt or shame
Service members in crisis should seek help immediately by contacting the Military Crisis Line. Dial 800-273-8255 (press 1 for military) for 24/7 crisis support. The crisis line provides a chat and text service (838255). Family members and friends of service members or veterans can also use the Military Crisis Line to reach immediate help.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- Defense Suicide Prevention Office
- PDF: Military Crisis Line Brochure
- PDF: Military Crisis Line Fact Sheet
- PDF: Military Crisis Line Poster
- #Powerof1 – Military Crisis Line campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention
- VA/DoD Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk Clinical Support Tools
- Reporting on Suicide
- You Are Not Alone: Suicide Prevention Tools for Warriors
- Defense Department Special Report: Suicide Prevention
Stories and information from across the services
- PDF: Suicide Facts for Primary Care Providers Helping Service Members and Families Overcome Barriers to Care
- PDF: Review of Well-Being in the Context of Suicide Prevention and Resilience
- What if Someone I Know Needs Help?
From the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Service Specific Resources
- Talking about losing a family member to suicide is tough at any age, but it’s even more difficult to try to explain this loss to a child. Sesame Workshop’s “Talk, Listen, Connect” episode When Families Grieve presents families' personal stories about coping with the death of a parent, as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward.
- PDF: Supporting Military Families in Crisis
- Real Warriors Campaign raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of psychological health concerns and encourages those coping with invisible wounds to reach out for psychological health care and support.
- Afterdeployment offers a variety of wellness resources for service members, veterans and families to include online assessments and workshops.
- TRICARE offers a Mental Health Resource Center for service members and their families.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for ANYONE who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death.
- Blue Star Mothers of America are mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military.
- Deployment Health Clinical Center Suicide Prevention
- Military OneSource provides support to all branches of the military and offers direct access to medical professionals through face-to-face, online, email and phone sessions.
- Vets4Warriors (V4W) provides free, confidential peer-to-peer support to active duty, National Guard and reserve service members, as well as their families, by phone, online chat or email. The program aims to strengthen coping skills and resilience through peer-to-peer counseling, referrals, resilience case management and outreach support services. Call 855-838-8255 or email Info@Vets4Warriors.com.