Suicide Prevention Resources for Active Duty Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
Suicide Prevention for Military Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
Addressing mental health issues can feel daunting. Starting a conversation about suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health issues can be difficult, and a lot of people may not even know how to begin.
After the recent suicides of celebrities Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, along with an alarming rate of suicides among Veterans, suicide prevention support and conversations about mental health have become even more important for our team at Project Sanctuary.
After adjusting for differences in age and sex, the risk for suicide is 22 percent higher among Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adults. Current service members and Veterans are not the only members of military families that are at risk of suicide. Stressors such as having a deployed parent and moving frequently can affect children of service members, with one study finding they are more likely to have a history of suicide attempts than children from civilian families. Military spouses and caregivers may also face stressors that leave them vulnerable to suicide.
While suicide is far too common among active-duty military members and Veterans, at Project Sanctuary we believe that there is hope for those at-risk of suicide and considering taking their own lives. We understand that mental health issues can affect entire families and that is why we focus on the entire family’s mental health and well-being first, creating and strengthening a core support network to help them navigate challenges and learn how to connect within their households and communities.
Project Sanctuary is fortunate to work with a variety of partners that provide support to Veterans and military families in times of crisis.
If you or a loved one is considering suicide or facing a mental health crisis, here are four resources you can reach out to for immediate support.
Active Duty, Veteran and Military Family Suicide Prevention Resources
Vets4Warriors offers 24/7 peer support and is committed to ensuring that all Veterans, service members, their families, and caregivers always have direct and immediate access to a peer who understands their life experiences and the challenges they face, and can provide support whenever they confront an issue, wherever they are in the world. They offer phone, email, text and chat support.
Through the U.S. Department of Veterans affairs, the Vet Center Call Center offers an around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as family members of combat Veterans.
Give an Hour provides care and support for those who otherwise might not receive it by harnessing the skill, expertise and generosity of volunteer mental health professionals across the country. Since 2005, Give an Hour has focused on providing free mental health care to active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, veterans and their families.
Sometimes strength means asking for help. Military OneSource connects you – or immediate family members – to that needed help, whether it involves spouse education and career opportunities, matters specific to families with special needs, financial and tax counseling or other important issues. Military OneSource offers a call center and online support to connect you to the program or professional to make sure that you receive the assistance you need.