September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

national suicide prevention awareness month header veterans military how to help

If you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month.

At least 45,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year according to the CDC. Veterans are 50% more likely to die by suicide than civilians, but Project Sanctuary is fighting against that. You can be part of the solution.

Talking about suicide can be difficult, but it’s one of the most important things we can all do to prevent it. Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal doesn’t increase suicidal thoughts or actions.

Risk Factors

Veterans and members of the military are at a higher risk of experiencing a number of risk factors for suicide, including recent tragedy or trauma, prolonged stress, and chronic illness. Difficulty accessing care is another obstacle for those struggling.

These experiences can make people feel hopeless and disconnected from their families and communities. But at Project Sanctuary, we’re changing that.

Family Support

Our comprehensive Family Support program connects military families to resources close to home. This includes referring them to mental healthcare options that are low- to no-cost through organizations like Give an Hour and Cohen Veterans Network.

Therapeutic Retreats

Every Project Sanctuary therapeutic retreat creates a safe environment where trust has been established for veterans and their families. Retreats also offer connection, community, and hope to combat some of the common risk factors for suicide.

Our Field Guide to PTS class pays special attention to suicide prevention. Adults learn and share coping mechanisms and resources during class while our Teen Group curriculum is an age-appropriate way for young adults to learn about PTS’ impact.

We’re particularly proud of the progress reported after attending a therapeutic retreat. Our pre- and post-retreat surveys show:

  • 24% increase in feeling engaged in their community
  • 14% improvement in vision for the future
  • 19% increase in feeling people can be trusted
  • 26% increase in feeling engaged with people outside of family
  • Overall feelings of purpose increased 17%
  • Overall quality of relationships increased 10%
Denice attended a therapeutic retreat with her family following her husband’s suicide attempt. The retreat helped them reconnect and find a path forward.

What You Can Do To Help

Join forces with us by supporting our work to prevent veteran suicide. We’re changing how military families heal, but we need your help to do it. Donate here >>

Other Resources

#BeThere Campaign from the VA

#BeThe1To Campaign from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline