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Military Health System

Suicide Prevention

Military service members’ lives are generally very different from the lives of civilians. Service members may be subject to frequent relocations, overseas deployments, and stressful experiences related to combat and significant time away from their families. Everyone reacts to stress and traumatic experiences differently, and while some have reactions that can be seen as normal responses to life events, others may experience signs or symptoms of more serious conditions, including depression, traumatic brain injury, or posttraumatic stress disorder. Those coping with more serious concerns may feel like there is no escape from their difficulties.

Suicide is a serious public health concern, but is preventable. 

Reach Out for Support

You are not alone. If you or a loved one needs immediate help, there are resources available to you.

Military Crisis Line Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Psychological Health Resource Center

24/7, free support for all service members and veterans.

24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress.

24/7 support and assistance for service members, veterans and families.

Recognize the Signs of Those at Risk

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, there may be cause for concern. Seek professional guidance right away if you or your loved one, co-worker or friend is:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself/themselves or others
  • Experiencing excessive rage, anger, or desire for revenge
  • Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means of harm
  • Having feelings of anxiety, agitation, or hopelessness
  • Talking or writing excessively about death, dying, or suicide
  • Repeatedly reliving past stressful experiences
  • Unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing uncharacteristic dramatic changes in mood or behavior
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, or society
  • Feeling there is no reason for living
  • Engaging in significant alcohol or drug use
  • Feeling trapped, like there is no way out
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as driving recklessly

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Suicide Prevention Draws Awareness at Madigan

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The numbers shock and offend the senses – roughly one active duty service member ends their life each day; add in Reserve and National Guard components and the number rises to an average of 1.5 per day. Madigan Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health hosted a National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month event on September 22, to raise awareness among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., community and honor those who have passed.

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September is Suicide Prevention Month

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. his year’s theme is “Be The One To Stop Suicide Before It Starts.” The month is set aside each year to bring heightened awareness to suicide prevention.

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H2F Making a Difference, Tackling the Whole Approach to Care

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Suicide Prevention Month officially kicked off with a suicide survivor panel at the Fort Bragg Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center

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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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A Matter of Life or Death: Seeking Help and Overcoming

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For Tech. Sgt. Jilayne Michelsen, a Command Post Control Operations Specialist, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, having the ability to ask her husband for help during her darkest hour, saved her life, her family and her military career.

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Behavioral health professionals from Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital conducted leadership development training with the 519th Military Police Battalion at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana in mid-November.

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Following Report, DOD to Redouble Suicide Prevention Efforts

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Following a recent report about suicide, the DOD redouble efforts to prevent suicides.

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Mental health is health says SECDEF: AF Academy tackles suicide prevention

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Osan's mental health team connects with Airmen

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Osan’s violence prevention team is finding ways to reach out to the Airmen who need them, keeping with the current motto of “Connect to Protect.”

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Resources to help those left behind in wake of suicide

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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, also features information on its website for loss survivors and how to support someone who has lost a loved one.

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Photo By Tech. Sgt. Victor J. Caputo | September is Suicide Prevention Month, with September 5 through 11 marking National Suicide Prevention Week. While it is every Airman's duty to watch out for their wingmen, it is also important for Airmen to understand the vast amount of resources available to them if they are experiencing their own personal crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

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Connect to Protect During Suicide Prevention Month in September

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Photo By Eleanor Prohaska | Photo by David Shipton. Participating and volunteering in clubs and organizations like Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, the USO and intra-mural sports is a good way to make and build connections. Shown here, Soldiers from the 30th Medical Brigade and Religious Support Office, SPC Hannah Konkel, SPC Samuil Matveev, SPC Miguel Contreras and SPC Jessica Baatz, take part in a BOSS-sponsored auto skills workshop.

How do you connect with others, and why is that important? Research shows that social connection improves physical, emotional, and mental health. It can also reduce the likelihood someone will consider or attempt suicide.

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Last Updated: July 19, 2022
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