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Suicide Prevention

Military life can be stressful for service members and their families. Everyone reacts to stress and traumatic experiences differently, and some may feel angry or isolated. These reactions can be common responses to life events, but, for some, these feelings may be signs of more serious conditions, including depression, traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. People coping with these concerns may feel like there is no escape from their symptoms, leading them to have thoughts of suicide. Deaths as a result of suicide are a preventable public health concern and a top priority for the Department of Defense (DoD). 

The Military Health System (MHS) works with military and civilian organizations to: 

  • Build awareness of suicidal behavior and risks, and 
  • Help service members and their families cope.  

We also promote programs that instill the skills needed to manage life’s challenges and encourage those with suicidal thoughts to seek help.

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How sharing my PTSD struggles helped others—and me

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Army Sgt. Jon Harmon lost both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device while on a 2012 Afghanistan mission. Today he speaks to commands and veterans about his personal struggle with mental health and how he works to overcome it. (Photo by Kevin Fleming, U.S. Army Sustainment Command)

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Suicide Prevention Month 2018

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September is Suicide Prevention Month. No one fights the battle alone. Make it your mission to #BeThere for each other.

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Defense Suicide Prevention Office

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Defense Suicide Prevention Office briefing for the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

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Shattered Mirror

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Army Private 1st Class Luselys Lugardo, a soldier assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard, poses in front of a shattered mirror for a portrait. The shattered glass represents the way suicide hurts families, friends and coworkers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht)

Army Private 1st Class Luselys Lugardo, a soldier assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard, poses in front of a shattered mirror for a portrait. The shattered glass represents the way suicide hurts families, friends and coworkers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht)

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Be There: Help Save a Life

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9/14/2016
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Whether you have a minute or an hour, a simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. The U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense have created a video to show how small actions can have a huge impact on Veterans and Service members who might be going through a difficult time.

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Joe Nose Stress

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9/23/2015
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"Currently, Cmdr. Joe is the only stress-sniffing dog in the Department of Defense, but studies conducted by the University of Denver in Colorado have found that regardless of the type of skill they possess, the presence of therapy dogs reduce overall narcotic and painkiller usage among veterans."

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Not all Wounds are Visible

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Suicide Prevention 2015

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The Department of Defense takes suicide very seriously. Each Service is actively working to reduce the number of suicides. Watch this video to find out how you can help.

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Recognize Common Symptoms of Those at Risk

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It Takes All of Us to Prevent Suicide

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Never Leave a Warrior Behind

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DCOE Annual Report 2014

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Annual Report for the Defense Center of Excellence - 2014

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Defense Suicide Prevention

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Defense Suicide Prevention briefing presented to the Defense Health Board

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DoD Suicide Prevention Office

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Defense Health Board briefing on DoD Suicide Prevention Office

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