Veterans Crisis Line
We all can take action to help prevent suicide, but many people don't know what they can do to support the Veteran or Service member in their life who is going through a difficult time. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. Suicide prevention can start with one simple act of support: Be There.
Veterans, Service members, and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online 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.
The responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances — from those coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans dealing with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.
Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 2.8 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis nearly 74,000 times. The Veterans Crisis Line anonymous online chat service, added in 2009, has engaged in more than 332,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service to provide another way for Veterans to connect with confidential, round-the-clock support, and since then has responded to more than 67,000 texts.
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, Veterans 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.
- Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone
- Start a confidential online chat session at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat
- Send a text message to 838255 to connect to a VA responder
- Take a self-check quiz at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/quiz
- If you or a Veteran you know is in crisis, find a facility near you
- Visit www.MilitaryCrisisLine.net if you are Active Duty, Reserve, or Guard
- Connect through chat, text, or TTY if you are deaf or hard of hearing
- Identify the Warning Signs
- Concerned About a Veteran? You Can Help
- Suicide and Crisis Resources
- About the Veterans Crisis Line
- Be There for Veterans
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.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- Veterans Chat - Veterans Crisis Line: Veterans Chat enables Veterans, their families, and friends to go online where they can anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. If the chats are determined to be a crisis, the counselor can take immediate steps to transfer the chatter to the Veterans Crisis Line, where further counseling and referral services are provided and crisis intervention steps can be taken. This same service is also available to Service members through Military Crisis Line chat.
- Locate Your Local Suicide Prevention Coordinator: Each VA Medical Center has a suicide prevention coordinator to make sure Veterans receive needed counseling and services. Calls to the Veterans Crisis Line are referred to those coordinators.
- Veterans Crisis Line Behind the Scenes: Take a look into the Veterans Crisis Line call center, housed at a VA Center of Excellence in Canandaigua, N.Y., where qualified, caring responders answer the calls of Veterans, Service members, and their friends and families in times of crisis.
- Additional Resources: Learn more about VA and other organizations’ suicide prevention resources and other Veterans' issues.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- American Association of Suicidology
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- National Institute of Mental Health - Suicide Prevention
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention
- VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention
National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide
Released June 29, 2018
The National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide reflects VA’s vision for a coordinated national strategy to prevent suicide among all Veterans — one that maintains VA’s focus on high-risk individuals in health care settings while adopting a broad public health approach with an emphasis on comprehensive, community-based engagement.
Suicide prevention is VA’s top clinical priority. This plan offers guidance to VA personnel and stakeholders — including other federal agencies, state and local governments, health care systems, and community organizations — so that we, as a Nation, can reduce suicide rates among Veterans.
- 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.
- Suicide Prevention:A Guide for Military and Veteran Families: If you think a loved one is suicidal, you may be feeling scared and helpless. But you and other family members are often able to tell when a loved one is in crisis, because you know that person best. And there are ways you can help. This guide will help you recognize when someone is at risk for suicide and understand the actions you can take to help.
- Preventing Suicide Among Older Veterans: This brochure contains resources and tips for Veterans, family members, caregivers, and friends including how to keep your home safe, find support and care, and recognize the warning signs of suicide.
Spread the Word
Be There for Veterans
Show your support for our Nation’s Veterans and their families and encourage them to get the care they deserve. View and download ready-to-use materials at VeteransCrisisLine.net/SpreadTheWord to tell people in your networks about this free and confidential resource available to all Veterans and their families.
Spread the Word Online
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.
Download Web Ads
Download 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 for public sites.
Download Print Materials
You can download Veterans Crisis Line materials and print them from your own computer. Multiple versions of full-color and grayscale posters are available for download in 8.5’’ x 11’’, 11’’ x 17’’, and 17" x 11" formats. You can also download and insert your own contact information or event details in a Veterans Crisis Line flyer. Fact sheets are also available for print. Large-print materials are available for people with visual impairment. To request materials, please click here.
Display Veterans Crisis Line Logos
Want 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.
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