Suicide prevention for veterans
Risk of suicide is not increased by talking about it. So if you think someone is in trouble, talk to them. If you are overwhelmed, reach out.
The resources below are both for military and family, for both the veteran and concerned friends. There is no shame in reaching out. If you were downed in battle would you not call for help? It really is a clinical situation, like a broken bone or heart surgery.
Suicide resources for veterans:
Veterans Crisis Hotline and Online Chat
www.veteranscrisisline.net and 1-800-273-8255 then press 1.
Professionally trained clinical staff. Can provide referral to other services, such as substance abuse treatment, marital counseling, treatment for depression and PTSD. Run by the VA. Since 2007. Over 18,000 life-saving interventions. Answered 500,000 calls.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-TALK (also chat on website).
Spanish language line 1-888-628-9454.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
General knowledge and help for veterans (alcohol problems, anxiety, etc.)
The Veterans Administrations mental health services website.
How many veterans die each year from suicide?
According to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, resulting in 33,000 fatalities (making it a significant public health priority). Being in the military doubles your risk of suicide. An estimated 5,000 veterans die by suicide each year. (The above study found a significantly higher figure than the previous official military estimate.)