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Suicide impacts us all – but there is help!

Man at sporting event kissing his wife and baby Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program programs provide virtual support forums and virtual wellness activities to keep you and the family feeling connected and active. (Photo Courtesy of DoD Warrior Care.)

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Suicide Prevention | Coronavirus | September Toolkit

Suicide affects everyone, and with more knowledge about suicide prevention, many of us are able to get help ourselves or for a loved one.

The DoD Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program focuses on the recovery and reintegration of wounded, ill, and/or injured service members, military caregivers, and their families. Many across our nation are feeling the stress, disconnectedness, and financial insecurity that COVID-19 has brought, and for some this increases the risk of suicide. Warrior Care and the Department of Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) want to provide everyone with the knowledge and resources to help prevent suicide.

When loved ones begin experiencing signs of excessive moodiness or sadness, change in personality or appearance, and dangerous harmful behavior, it is a sign that help is needed. Social connectedness and a sense of belonging improve mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

To some, it may seem hard to stay connected when we are being told to practice social distancing, and being isolated when recovering from COVID-19, but it is possible. Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program programs provide virtual support forums and virtual wellness activities to keep you and your family feeling connected and active.

While those who commit suicide never know how it affects their families and friends, this final act deeply impacts those they leave behind. Suicide is also associated with increased risk for mental health concerns for survivors based on the type and length of relationship with the person who committed suicide. These include suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress increase. Postvention is an intervention that takes place after a suicide occurs; its purpose is to help those affected to recover and heal. Postvention serves as a positive step toward preventing the negative effects of suicide exposure.

Due to Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines, most people are practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and quarantining at home, but help to deal with suicide ideation remains available. The DSPO provides suicide prevention outreach and educational information for the Military Community. The National Resource Directory provides an archive of resources for service members, veterans, and military families, including suicide prevention and postvention resources. There are also 24/7 free, confidential services such as the Veteran Crisis Line or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or Military OneSource’s 24/7 Call Center. Support is available to all service members, veterans, military caregivers, and military families.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, and associated COVID-19 disease, has upended our everyday lives and routines. With the sudden change in our social environment, going from face-to-face interaction to very limited interaction at all can affect your mental health and that of your loved ones. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress during this time will help us to remain strong.

“The DoD Warrior Care program touches on every aspect of the recovering service member’s transition, including education and employment opportunities, therapeutic recreational involvement, and support for military caregivers,” explained Sandra Mason, program director, Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program.

“Remember - you are not alone!”


If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Veteran/Military Crisis Line for immediate assistance at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1), or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

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This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components as appropriate.

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This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (b) and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (z3), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This DHA-AI also provides a preventive plan to monitor and assess for the appearance of new cases and implement those processes that will prevent them from impacting the workforce. The processes describe herein are intended to offer an actionable plan for the workforce to re-enter DHA Administrative Offices. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the DHA Administrative Office Reopening Plan. The plan uses the Force Health Protection Guidance and Health Protection Conditions (HPCON), in accordance with Reference (d), to ensure protection for the workforce, including the most vulnerable-to-serious complications from the virus while enabling DHA Administrative Offices to continue its mission. See Appendix 2 for the conceptual HPCON framework.

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