Back to Top Skip to main content

Real Warriors provides suicide prevention tools for all beneficiaries

Sunset light creates silhouette of two military personnel Soldiers from Delta Company, 2-108th Infantry Battalion, 27th Brigade, conduct a partnered-Afghan National Security Force security patrol at dusk. (Photo by Army 1st Lt. Jason Uhlig.)

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness | September Toolkit

Every September, the Department of Defense and the nation place the medical spotlight on suicide prevention with Suicide Prevention Month.

However, suicide prevention is important every day especially for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families. Recovering service members often face emotional or psychological concerns after experiencing a serious injury or illness, which can put them at greater risk for suicide.

Within the Defense Health Agency, the Real Warriors Campaign promotes a culture of support for psychological health by encouraging the military community to reach out for help if struggling with a psychological health concern.

Real Warriors supports the DHA’s Psychological Health Center of Excellence in its mission to break the stigma associated with psychological health concerns. The campaign focuses on encouraging help-seeking behavior among service members, veterans, and military families that may be coping with invisible wounds.

Significant changes in daily behavior and experiences may increase suicide ideation and suicide-related behavior. These changes may include the loss of a fellow warrior, friend, or loved one; trouble sleeping; disciplinary or legal action; health, financial, or relationship problems; feelings of failure; difficulties at work; or other personal issues.

“If you start to notice changes in a loved one’s behavior that seem to persist, it may be time to start a conversation with that person,” advised Dr. Nick Polizzi, a psychologist and the Real Warriors Campaign government action officer.

Real Warriors advises those in the military community to reach out for help if they experience or see these risk factors with their friends or loved ones.

Real Warriors also offers the following techniques to discuss with your provider in aiding your recovery:

  1. Confide in someone you trust. Speak with a family member, fellow warrior, unit leader, or military chaplain. Talking about what is bothering you is a great first step in the process of receiving support, getting other perspectives, and reducing distress.
  2. Make your environment safe. Give any potentially dangerous items to a trusted person if you feel such items are unsafe with you.
  3. Avoid alcohol and other substances. Substance misuse may feel like “medicine” for your stress level while making your thoughts worse.
  4. Take care of your mind and body. Healthy ways to manage stress include physical activities like walking and running, other activities and hobbies, and different forms of relaxation, such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.
  5. Write it out. Consider using a journal to express pain, anger, fear, or other emotions.

If you feel like you are in crisis or if you’re having suicidal thoughts, seek help from a health care provider.

All service members, veterans, and their families are encouraged to contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1 to speak with a trained counselor. The support is free, confidential, and available every day 24/7.

If you or a loved one need information about psychological health concerns, contact the Psychological Health Resource Center at 866-966-1020 to confidentially speak with trained health resource consultants 24/7.

For additional information about suicide prevention, visit the Real Warriors Campaign.

Remember, reaching out is a sign of strength.

You also may be interested in...

Addressing emotional responses to threat of Coronavirus

Article
3/20/2020
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kathleen A. Myhre, 446th Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer in charge, meditates outside the 446th Airlift Wing Headquarters building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 12, 2020. Myhre traveled to India in 2016 to study to become an internationally-certified yoga instructor. She now shares her holistic training with Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 446th AW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary A. Andom)

Even if you’re feeling healthy, medical professionals recommend staying home and limiting social contact as much as possible

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Physical Fitness | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

McCaffery offers MHS view with Blue Star Families panel

Article
2/28/2020
Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications)

The Honorable Thomas McCaffery participated in the Blue Star Families panel to discuss MHS transformation for families

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | MHS Transformation | MHS GENESIS

DHA PM 6025-01: Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Standards

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedures Manual (DHA-PM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (i), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to establish required standards for: a. Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and primary care clinics for adult, child and adolescent, health behavior, behavioral medicine, and behavioral health services in primary care. b. Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs). c. Behavioral Health Care Facilitators (BHCFs). d. External Behavioral Health Consultants (EBHCs). e. Primary Care Clinic Leaders.

Shining light on those wintertime blues

Article
1/8/2020
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans every year and is believed to be more common in parts of the country where the sunshine is less prevalent, such as here. SAD symptoms can include a down mood, loss of interest in activities that are normally enjoyable, change in appetite, sleep patterns, fatigue and loss of energy. (Navy photo by Douglas Stutz)

About seven percent of people experience a depressive episode every year

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Sleep

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

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Mental Health Professionals

Congressional Testimony
11/26/2019

S. 3129, SAC Report for FY 2019, 115-290, Pg. 211

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Are you sad or are you SAD?

Article
11/20/2019
Some individuals suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also referred to as Depressive Disorder. As the name suggests, it’s a form of depression that occurs during the seasonal change to winter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor Cokley)

In the U.S., SAD is estimated to affect 10 million people

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Suicide Prevention spotlight: Military behavioral health technicians

Article
10/1/2019
Senior Airman Brandon Haag goes through new patient paperwork, Feb. 9, 2015, at the Mental Health clinic on Scott Air Force Base, Ill. A typical protocol when a new patient comes in is getting to know the background history of the patient to help them and the provider they will see know what will help in a crisis or difficulty. Haag is a 375th Medical Group mental health technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Erica Crossen)

Suicide prevention is aided by behavioral health technicians in many settings

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Recognizing, acting on a cry for help to prevent the tragedy of suicide

Article
9/25/2019
Suicide Prevention Month graphic

You can be the difference between life and death

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Suicide prevention is a year-round effort

Article
9/18/2019
Navy Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Sebastian Castano, an assistant suicide prevention coordinator assigned to Naval Station Mayport, ties a yellow ribbon around a tree at Mayport Memorial Park in recognition of Suicide Awareness Month. Participants tied yellow ribbons to represent the 46 active duty Sailors lost to suicide in 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alana Langdon)

The ultimate goal is to not get to a crisis situation – it’s to prevent suicide by building resilience

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Peterson Airmen save life

Article
9/6/2019
Airmen 1st Class Brittany Wright and Tiffany Duffus, 21st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron dental lab technicians, tell their story of successfully responding to a friend with suicidal thoughts Aug. 22, 2019 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Both Airmen received the Air Force Achievement Medal and were asked to attend the Air Force Association National Convention in September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow)

Two Airmen from the 21st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron dental lab, successfully responded to a friend from another Air Force base with suicidal thoughts.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Suicide Prevention Month: Changing the narrative

Article
9/4/2019
Suicide Prevention Month graphic

Mental health technicians say one major way to change the cycle is to use success stories

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

New clinical recommendations on cognitive rehabilitation for TBI released

Article
6/24/2019
Dr. Gregory Johnson (right), Tripler Concussion Clinic medical director, has Army Spc. Andrew Karamatic, Department of Medicine combat medic, follow his finger with his eyes during a neurologic exam at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Cognitive rehabilitation focuses on improving thinking and communication skills

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Psychological Fitness

Practicing yoga to stimulate the mind, body, spirit

Article
6/21/2019
Dr. Bhagwan Bahroo, staff psychiatrist, demonstrates a deep-breathing posture as he leads a weekly yoga class for Psychiatry Continuity Service Program participants at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (DoD photo by Leigh Culbert)

Programs at Walter Reed incorporate yoga basics to promote healing

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

DoD officials urge troops to seek mental health help without fear

Article
5/30/2019
One problem that may contribute to suicide numbers is a reticence to seek assistance from mental health providers due to fears that such help may damage careers, especially when it comes to security clearances. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Demetrio Montoya)

Solving suicide is a shared challenge in both the military and civilian societies

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 9

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.