A recent study found that at least four times as many service members and war veterans of post-9/11 conflicts have died of suicide than died in combat (Suitt, 2021). The report also notes that the increasing rates of suicide for both active duty service members and veterans is outpacing those of the general population, which is concerning since historically the suicide rates for service members have been lower than those for the general population.
With September being National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month we have compiled a few resources that promote suicide prevention and wellness for military families.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- Operation Reach Out App is an app created by Military Community Awareness Inc. (MCA) for smartphones. In addition to assisting those who are at risk for suicide directly, it is also designed to assist those who are concerned about others who may be at risk.
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. They also provide specific resources on their website for various populations including veterans, youth, disaster survivors, and LGBTQ+. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to contact the Lifeline and receive help now or to find ways that you can join the network and promote suicide prevention resources.
- The Military Crisis Line is a direct way to reach out for help. This service is primarily for military service members, veterans, and their families. To reach out and speak with a qualified responder from the VA, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text the number 838255.
- The Defense Suicide Prevention Office provides a holistic approach to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention using a range of medical and non-medical resources. Grounded in a collaborative approach, DSPO works with Military Services and other Governmental Agencies, Non-Governmental Agencies, non-profit organizations, and the greater community to reduce the risk of suicide within military-connected populations.
We urge everyone who needs help to seek assistance and we hope these resources will be beneficial in finding the support needed.
Suitt, T. H. (2021). High Suicide Rates among United States Service Members and Veterans of the Post9/11 Wars. Costs of War. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://watson.brown.edu/costs...papers/2021/Suicides.
Co-Principal Investigator, MFLN Family Development