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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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Dr. Karin A. Orvis and Mike Colston, MD: Suicide Prevention

Congressional Testimony
12/4/2019

Dr. Karin A. Orvis Director, Defense Suicide Prevention Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) and Mike Colston, MD Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy Director, Mental Health Programs Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) [testified] before the Personnel Subcommittee of Senate Armed Forces Committee

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Elizabeth P. Van Winkle, PhD, and Mike Colston, MD: Military Suicide Prevention

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Elizabeth P. Van Winkle, PhD Executive Director Office of Force Resiliency Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) and Mike Colston, MD Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy Director, Mental Health Programs Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) [testified] before The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel And The House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health

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Dr. Karin A. Orvis and Mike Colston, MD: Military Suicide

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5/8/2019

Dr. Karin A. Orvis Director, Defense Suicide Prevention Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) and Mike Colston, MD Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy Director, Mental Health Programs Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) [testified] before the Personnel Subcommittee of Senate Armed Forces Committee

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