Suicide Prevention - Mental Health
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Mental Health

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Suicide Prevention

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Suicide Prevention

Overview

Sometimes, life’s challenges can feel overwhelming, like there’s no way things can get better. When things feel unbearable, or if you’re having thoughts of ending your life, support is available. VA offers a number of programs and resources for Veterans and their loved ones, friends, and health care providers.

If you are a Veteran in crisis — or you’re concerned about one — free, confidential support is available 24/7. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online.

Suicide Is Preventable

Suicide is a national health concern that affects all Americans, whether or not they have served in the military. VA believes that everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. That’s why we are working with community partners across the country — including faith communities, employers, schools, and health care organizations — to prevent suicide among all Veterans, including those who may never come to VA for care.

S.A.V.E. Online Suicide Prevention Training

VA recently launched the S.A.V.E. online suicide prevention training video in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, a national nonprofit providing online education and support to those who work with, live with, or care for Service members, Veterans, and military and Veteran families. S.A.V.E. — which stands for “Signs,” “Ask,” “Validate,” and “Encourage” and “Expedite” — offers simple steps that anyone can take when talking with Veterans who are at risk for suicide.

Know the Warning Signs

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 misuse
  • 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 misuse, carelessly handling weapons, etc.

If you or the Veteran in your life is feeling depressed, anxious, hopeless, or as if life has no purpose, but is notin immediate danger, we encourage you to:

  • Visit VeteransCrisisLine.net to learn about support that is available to you.
  • Use our resource locator to discover the suicide prevention resources in your area, including VA medical centers and Suicide Prevention Coordinators.
  • Visit MakeTheConnection.net to hear from Veterans and their family members who have coped with challenges like yours.

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