September is Suicide Prevention Month. Data has revealed that on average, approximately 22 veterans a day commit suicide. It’s a national crisis, and one that we need to do more to fight.
Some research has shown that the military and veteran suicide rate is 50 percent higher than that of civilians, which is as sad as it is alarming. But there is something I can do, and there is something you can do to help save the lives of these veterans.
There are many reasons that veterans in particular feel like there’s no way out of a difficult time – whether it’s PTSD, survivor’s guilt, financial strain, family problems, or a combination of these – so many factors come into play. But it’s up to all of us to help them realize that help is available!
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential crisis resource that Veterans and their families and friends can access any day, anytime. Trained responders — some of them Veterans themselves — are ready to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The VA counts on grass-roots networks and community organizations to spread the word that support is just a call, click, or text away — because we’re all in this together, and one small act shows you care.
Other important resources for anyone experiencing invisible wounds or depression:
- PTSD Coach: The Department of Veterans Affairs has a website and app called PTSD Coach that aims to help troops and veterans manage issues like anger, sleep and trauma triggers.
- The VA: The Department of Veteran Affairs’ Mental Health page is filled with resources to address a variety of mental health concerns.
Identifying Signs of Crisis
Sometimes, a crisis may involve thoughts of suicide. The following signs require 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 notice any of these in a Veteran or Service member you know, connect him or her with the Veterans Crisis Line’s 24/7/365 resources: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat, or text to 838255.
Tags: combat veteran, Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Mental Health, Military, PTSD, Suicide Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans, Wounded Warriors