Suicide - The Essentials

Suicide is a serious concern in the military community. If you are in crisis, or you know someone who is, there are immediate resources available to support you or your loved ones. The Military Crisis Line connects those in need to a trained counselor with a single phone call or click of a mouse. This confidential, immediate help is available 24/7 at no cost to active-duty, Guard and reserve members, their families and friends. Contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255.

Learn more about suicide:

Understand the risk factors for suicide.

Research indicates that there is an association between suicide among active duty members and stressors such as separation or divorce, reduction in rank and sleep issues. Persons with substance abuse or mental health issues are also at greater risk.

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Build resilience through the military community.

A sense of belonging is critical to the strength and resilience of each member of a community. People are the greatest resource in the military. As a service member, the military community can make you feel part of something bigger than yourself, protected, and understood. Tap into the strength of the people around you to build resilience if you are feeling alone.

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Find ways to cope with the grief of suicide.

There is no “right” way to grieve the loss of someone who died by suicide. As you wrestle with your feelings, don’t be afraid to ask the people closest to you for what you need, talk about your grief and be proactive about getting the support and resources you need.

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Prevent Suicide Among Service Members

Each member of the military community has a responsibility to look after one another. If a service member or family member distances himself or herself from the community or begins to show any warning signs of suicide – such as threatening to hurt themselves, expressing feelings of hopelessness or increasing alcohol or drug use – call the Military Crisis Line or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.