- The total number of suicides among veterans has increased 4 of the last 5 years on record.
- From 2007 to 2017, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped almost 50 percent.
- Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served in the military.
- Women veterans are 2.2 times more likely to die by suicide than American women who never served in the military.
- About 6,100 veterans died by suicide in 2017, the latest year for which data is available.
If you notice any signs of concerning behavior here are some things you can do:
- Start a conversation : Mention the signs that prompted you to talk to them. Stay calm and let the person know you want to help them. Don’t leave the person alone.
- Listen, express concern and reassure the individual: Let the person know you care and that you take the situation seriously. Letting the person know you care will go a long way in establishing a support system.
- Create a safety plan: Ask the person if they have access to anything that could harm them and call for help if you feel the situation is dangerous.
- Get the individual help: Provide resources for the individual. Call the Veteran’s crisis line at 1(800)-273-8255. Or if you feel the situation is severe, take the individual to the closest emergency room or call for help.
Individuals experiencing such thoughts and behavior can make simple yet effective lifestyle changes to help alleviate these harmful thoughts and behavior. These can include getting exercise, taking time off of work, and spending time with friends and family to avoid isolation. Ultimately, anyone at risk or feeling uneasy should talk to their health care provider.
Follow these links for more information and for ways you can help: