Veterans have a higher rate of suicide then the general population. VA’s top clinical priority is preventing suicide among all Veterans — including those who do not, and may never, seek care within the VA health care system.
If you’re a Veteran in a mental health crisis and you’re thinking about hurting yourself, get help right away. We want Veterans and their families to know that you are not alone, and that we stand ready to assist with the care, compassion, and resources they deserve.
Many Veterans don’t show any signs of an urge to harm themselves before doing so. But some may show signs of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or hopelessness, like:
- Seeming sad, depressed, anxious, or agitated most of the time
- Sleeping either all the time or not much at all
- Not caring about what they look like or what happens to them
- Pulling away from friends, family, and society
- Losing interest in hobbies, work, school, or other things they used to care about
- Expressing feelings of excessive guilt or shame, failure, lack of purpose in life, or being trapped
They may also change the way they act, and start to:
- Perform poorly at work or school
- Act violently or take risks (like driving fast or running red lights)
- Do things to prepare for a suicide (like giving away special personal items, making a will, or seeking access to guns or pills)
Veterans' Crisis Line - Confidential Help to Veterans and their Families
988 press 1
or Text 838255
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Worried About A Veteran (WAV) is an online resource designed to help prevent suicide among veterans and service members. It was developed to be a family-focused resource to assist military families and caregivers with talking to a veteran or service member during a time of mental health distress.
Connect with your Suicide Prevention Coordinator today
Each VA medical center has a Suicide Prevention Coordinator to connect you with the counseling and services needed. Find your local suicide prevention coordinator here.
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The Governor's and Mayor's Challenges
The Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families provide user-friendly and up-to-date information related to veteran support, suicide prevention, and tools for supportive communities.
To learn more visit the Governor's Challenge website.