Suicide is a national public health issue that affects all Americans. At VA, the health and well-being of our Nation’s Veterans is our highest priority.
Veterans in crisis and their loved ones can call, text, or chat to connect with caring VA responders at the free and confidential Veterans Crisis Line. Responders are qualified to deal with any immediate crisis.
If you are in crisis and need to speak with a crisis responder, please call 1-800-273- 8255 and Press 1.
In addition to the Veterans Crisis Line, VA offers a network of support and mental health resources for all Veterans and their families and friends. Every day, more than 400 VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators and their teams, located at every VA medical center, connect Veterans with care and educate the community about suicide prevention programs and resources.
To learn more about the issue of Veteran suicide as well as VA mental health resources, please visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov, where you’ll find the latest national and state-level research.
Learn to recognize red flags
People can experience an emotional or mental health crisis due to a wide range of situations. For some, it might be the end of a personal relationship. For others, it might be the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service.
When emotional issues reach a crisis point, Veterans and their loved ones should contact the Veterans Crisis Line.
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press “!”
Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a person needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of self-harm. The following can all be warning signs:
- Appearing sad or depressed most of the time
- Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
- Feeling as if there is no reason to live
- Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure
- Rage or anger
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking
- Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school
- Increasing alcohol or drug misuse
- Neglecting personal welfare; a deteriorating physical appearance
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights
- Giving away prized possessions
- Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will
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.
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