Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

PREVENTS aimed at reducing Service Member and Veteran suicide

Image of Group of airmen hugging each other. Click to open a larger version of the image. Airmen grieve following a memorial service for a fellow airmen. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Teri Eicher, 134th Air Refueling Wing.)

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

“The second leading cause of death between ages 10 to 35 is suicide,” according to Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, executive director of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). In our nation, suicide has increased by 33% over the last 25 years across all demographics. These are challenging statistics that Warrior Care and PREVENTS are concerned about.

Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program provides our recovering service members, military caregivers, and their family/friends with the right knowledge to prevent these tragedies.

Launched in June 2020, PREVENTS focuses on a holistic public health approach to suicide prevention. PREVENTS collaborates with 10 other Federal agencies to emphasize improved overall health and well-being.

Veterans can lead this movement by setting an example to civilians, as they are one and a half times more likely to commit suicide, with women veterans being two and a half times more likely out of the Veteran population, compared to civilians.

One of the many myths about suicide is that mental illness is a risk factor. Van Dahlen explained how, “Not all risk factors are related to mental illness. It is a combination of factors and can include legal troubles, financial stress, chronic physical health, and feeling of hopelessness.” Those who attempt suicide or having suicidal thoughts are dealing with a combination of risk factors that happen either abruptly or over a long period of time.

Recovering service members face a variety of risk factors that can negatively affect their mental health and well-being, added Van Dahlen. For recovering service members transitioning into the civilian world, many have shared that they lose a feeling of purpose and disconnectedness with the Military community. These are also risk factors that can contribute to an increase in suicide rate for the Recovering Military community.

According to Van Dahlen, protective factors play a role in lowering suicidal risk factors, this includes access to appropriate health and mental health care, good physical health, belonging to a faith-based community, sense of belonging, and more. By being knowledgeable about protective factors, you can provide someone who is at risk, or yourself, with the appropriate tools and resources to help, shared Van Dahlen. “The goal (of PREVENTS) is to educate people on finding protective factors;” added Van Dahlen. “So, finding what works for each individual, or what collection of things work.”

According to Van Dahlen and the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO), one of the easiest and most effective factors for those at risk, is simply reaching out. When you take the time to reach out to your loved ones, that’s a step in a positive direction.

The PREVENTS’ REACH campaign is designed for everyone, and individuals can sign the PREVENTS Pledge to REACH. By taking the pledge, a service member is making a commitment to learn more about risk and protective factors, promote PREVENTS resources and activities, and inspiring others to take the pledge.

“We all know that suicide prevention is a national public health challenge and that everyone has a role to play,” concluded Van Dahlen.

To take the pledge, visit https://www.wearewithinreach.net/pledge/.

You also may be interested in...

Recovering Service Members Compete in National Rowing Championship

Article
3/4/2022
Recovering Service Members and Paralympic athletes take on National Indoor Row Championship.

Recovering Service Members compete in 2022 national indoor rowing championships.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Air Force Invisible Wounds Initiative helps build a supportive culture

Article
2/4/2022
Invisible Wounds Initiative

Late last year, the Air Force launched Invisible Wounds Initiative Command Team Campaign

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Ft. Belvoir Leaders Learn to Row Learn More About MASP

Article
12/10/2021
Military personnel participating in adaptive sports

Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery Unit Command team joins MASP for a rowing clinic in Washington D.C. to experience benefits of adaptive sports firsthand.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Meet the Matriarch of Wounded Warrior Caregivers at Walter Reed

Article
11/30/2021
Service members transporting a severely wounded soldier

For worried caregivers at Walter Reed Bethesda, Linda Rasnake is a positive force of nature.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Caregiver Wife’s Support Instrumental to Wounded Warrior’s Recovery

Article
11/30/2021
Retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Eric Heldman staying active

Eric and Crystal Heideman are not just husband and wife, but life partners navigating life as a wounded warrior and his full-time caregiver with resilience, will, and above all, love for one another.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Article
11/29/2021
Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game

The Defense Department programs listed here are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are standing by to respond to individual queries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

For Many Wounded Warriors, Not All Damage is Visible or Combat-Related

Article
11/23/2021
A picture of Alex and Allison Pate

For Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Pate’s wife, Allison, being a caregiver to a wounded warrior has been a series of emotions, but she’s grateful for the support they’ve received along the road to his recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

For Wounded Warriors, Adaptive Sports Bring Camaraderie and Confidence

Article
11/19/2021
Military personnel with their service dogs during swim practice

At the Wounded Warrior level, sports that can be adapted to accommodate disabilities are literally saving lives. And the sports and other adaptive activities are getting more widespread and popular each year.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Tips for Caregivers – How to Take Care of Yourself and Avoid Burnout

Article
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

The Human Performance Resources by CHAMP team, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Consortium for Health and Military Performance provides stress management strategies for caregivers of recovering friends, family members or loved ones.

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Total Force Fitness | Warrior Care

Back from the Brink: One Marine's Recovery from Suicidal Thoughts

Article
9/29/2021
Portrait photo of John Peck

After suffering a TBI in Iraq and losing all four limbs in Afghanistan, Marine Sgt. John Peck talks about his own experience and the differences in the ways in which individuals deal with traumatic life events.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Talking About Afghanistan

You Are Not Alone - Mental Health Care is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Article
9/21/2021
Soldier with head in hand.

There are many options for support available to those who are having thoughts of suicide and those around them.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Health Resource Center | 24/7 | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Talking About Afghanistan

Suicide is Preventable and Should Be Treated Like a Health Problem

Article
9/20/2021
Drunk man sits on sofa with his head in his hands. He is in mental pain.

Suicide is a preventable health crisis and should be treated like other health crises, such as heart attacks.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention

Ask the Doc: I've Got a Friend I'm Worried About – What Should I Do?

Article
9/15/2021
Soldiers conduct a ruck march on airfield.

Doc talks to Dr. Tim Hoyt, chief of Psychological Health Promotion and supervisor of the Combat and Operational Stress Control mission at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence, about some of the ways to go about addressing your concerns with a friend you may think is in danger of harming themself.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Health Center of Excellence | Suicide Prevention | Ask The Doc

Navy Spouse Seeks Mental Health Care through the MHS

Article
9/15/2021
Military personnel in front of a helicopter

Army public affairs officer deals with mental health crisis.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit |
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.