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Mental Health

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Suicide Prevention

Veterans Crisis Line

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The Veterans Crisis Line is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders.

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net, or send a text message to 838255 to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. VA also provides support for Service members through the Military Crisis Line. Service members and their families and friends can call and text the Veterans Crisis Line numbers and can chat online at www.MilitaryCrisisLine.net/Chat.

The professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances—from Veterans coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans struggling with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.

Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.1 million calls and made more than 35,000 life-saving rescues. In 2009, the Veterans Crisis Line added an anonymous online chat service and has engaged in more than 144,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service, and has since responded to more than 18,000 texts–providing another way for Veterans to connect with round-the-clock support.

VA is working to make sure that all Veterans and their loved ones are aware of the Veterans Crisis Line. To reach as many Veterans as possible, VA is coordinating with communities and partner groups nationwide, including community-based organizations, Veteran Service Organizations, and local health care providers, to let Veterans and their loved ones know that support is available whenever, if ever, they need it.

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Warning Signs

People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations—from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences in military service. When emotional issues reach a crisis point, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

Sometimes, a crisis may involve thoughts of suicide. Learn to recognize these warning signs:

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

The presence of the following signs requires immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
  • Looking for ways to kill yourself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is experiencing any of these signs, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net, or text 838255 today.

Link to the Confidential Veterans Chat Link to the Confidential Veterans Chat Take the Self Check Quiz Now

Suicide Prevention Resources

Educational Materials

  • How to Recognize When to Ask for Help: Contains information on suicide prevention such as, understanding the warning signs, myths and realities, and Veteran specific risks. 
  • VA ACE Card and VA ACE Brochure: The purpose of ACE is to help Veterans, their family members, and friends learn that they can take the necessary steps to get help. ACE (Ask, Care, Escort) summarizes the steps needed to take an active and valuable role in suicide prevention. The VA ACE Card is a pocket guide, supported by the VA ACE Brochure which provides more in depth information.
  • Suicide Attempt Survivor Family Resource Guide: Designed to provide Veterans and their families with resources that can serve as sources of information and support. The guide contains formation on self-care, care for others (particularly children), and care for the suicide attempt survivor.
    The resource guide is now also available in Spanish: Informacion y Apoyo para los Sobrevivientes del Suicidio: Guía de Recursos del Departamento de Veteran Affairs para las familias que estén lidiando con el suicidio
  • How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family: These information sheets are intended to serves as guides for adults to use when talking with a 4-8, 9-13, or 14-18 year-old child about a suicide attempt in the family. They are not intended to replace the advice of a mental health professional. In fact, it may be best to use these guides along with professional support if you or your child is struggling with how to talk about this difficult topic. It is important to consider the child's level of development and ability to understand events when deciding how to talk with them about this issue. This series has been updated January 2013 and now includes Spanish versions.

Spread the Word

Support. It Matters.

You can show support for our Nation’s Veterans and their families and encourage them to get the care they deserve. Download Veterans Crisis Line materials and help Spread the Word about this free and confidential resource available to all Veterans and their families.

Share the Veterans Crisis Line with your online network. Post about us on Facebook and Twitter, share the Veterans Crisis Line website and videos with your friends and followers, and embed a Veterans Crisis Line video on your own website.

Print Materials

It MattersYou can download Veterans Crisis Line materials and print them from your own computer. Multiple versions of full-color and black and white posters are available for download in both 8.5’’ x 11’’ and 11’’ x 17’’ formats. You can also download and insert your own contact information or event details in a Veterans Crisis Line flyer. Public fact sheets are also available for print. Large print and braille materials are available for people with visual impairment. To request materials, please click here.



Web Ads

It MattersDownload a variety of online banner ads and badges to use on your website and link to the Veterans Crisis Line. Banner ads and badges are available in standard sizes approved for VA.gov sites as well as public sites.

Logos

Veterans Crisis Line LogoWant to include the Veterans Crisis Line logo on your own materials? The Veterans Crisis Line logo is available for download in a variety of formats. You can also access and download the Veterans Crisis Line Branding Guidelines for guidance on how to consistently apply the various components of the Veterans Crisis Line brand.

Videos

It Matters LogoWatch and share Veterans Crisis Line videos with your networks.

 
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