James J. Peters VA Medical Center
We can all play a role in preventing suicide, but many people don't know what they can do to support the Veteran or Servicemember in their life who is going through a difficult time. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. Watch this video to learn how you can Be There.
Your actions could help save a life.
September is Suicide Prevention Month
We all have a role to play in preventing suicide among Veterans and Service members in our communities.
What are some things people can do to show the Veteran in their life that they care?
- A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone.
- Small actions of support are thoughtful ways to show you care.
- Approaching the subject of suicide can seem very difficult, but it is important to start the conversation — and it does not increase suicide risk to talk about it.
- The most important thing is to show genuine support for someone going through a rough period in life.
What are some warning signs that a Veteran may be considering suicide?
- Look for significant changes in behavior or mood. Notice if a Veteran is:
- Sleeping a lot more or a lot less
- More withdrawn from family and friends
- Drinking more or using drugs
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or saying loved ones would be better off without them around
- Everyone also should be aware of the signs of crisis, which require immediate attention from a mental health professional:
- Thinking about hurting or killing oneself
- Looking for ways to kill oneself
- Talking about death, dying, or suicide
- Self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse or the dangerous use of weapons
- If you notice these changes in a Veteran, encourage him or her to contact the Veterans Crisis Line, or you can reach out yourself:
- Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
- Chat at VeteransCrisisLine.net
- Send a text to 838255