The Department of Defense is strongly committed to preventing suicide within our military community through suicide prevention, intervention and postvention initiatives. 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.

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Suicide is a public health issue.

Suicide is a public health issue that affects Americans across all communities and walks of life, including the military. Its causes are complex and involve a number of factors, including biological, psychological, environmental, and social influences. A key goal of suicide prevention is to reduce risk factors and increase resilience and wellness.

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Suicide is preventable.

The Department of Defense embraces the public health approach to suicide prevention. This evidence-based approach shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.

If you are feeling alone, tap into the strength of your fellow members of the military community. People are the military’s greatest resource – each individual is a part of something bigger than themselves, protected, and understood. You can also turn to Military OneSource 24/7 for free resources and counseling to help you through challenges and daily stress before they become a crisis.

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.

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Everyone has a role in preventing suicide.

Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

Sometimes just talking to someone is a critical first step towards wellness and resilience. Encourage your fellow service members, family members and those you lead to ask for help before issues become a crisis. Resources from the DOD can guide you as you support those who may be struggling. Military OneSource can help service members and families address life’s daily stressors and get support for rebuilding critical relationships.

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Promote healing and minimize risk for survivors.

Many survivors experience a range of emotions including blame, guilt or anger. They may face mental health challenges from the experience. It is important to know that support is available to help in the process of rebuilding after loss.

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