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

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...

PTSD: Help is Available

Video
6/24/2021
PTSD Video Infographic

PTSD can happen to anyone. The Military Health System can help you get diagnosed and provide you with evidence-based treatment so you can get your life back. If you're struggling with PTSD, reach out to your local military hospital or clinic and make an appointment today. Learn more at health.mil/ptsd.

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | PTSD Awareness Month | Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

29 Sec PSA: Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K Greca

Video
6/23/2021

As a senior noncommissioned officer, retired Command Sergeant Major Greca did not recognize the subtle signs and symptoms of his physical and invisible wounds. Hear how CSM Greca realized that it takes strength to recognize the warning signs, and to seek support from military health resources.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

29 Sec PSA: Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson

Video
6/23/2021

Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson spent years reliving memories of her sexual assault. By seeking care, Staff Sgt. Johnson learned what triggered her and how to cope when memories resurfaced. Hear how Staff Sgt. Johnson turned a traumatic event into an opportunity to share her story and help others.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Sexual Trauma

4 Facts About PTSD

Video
6/23/2021

Learn about PTSD symptoms, the benefits of seeking care and get connected to confidential, 24/7 resources.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

4 Steps to Getting Care for Invisible Wounds

Video
6/23/2021

When it comes to invisible wounds, you don’t have to go it alone. Take the first step and learn how you can get connected with a health care provider.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

4 Ways to Cope with Survivor Guilt

Video
6/23/2021

When a fellow warrior dies or is injured in battle, it’s common to have feelings of shock, regret or guilt. This is known as Survivor guilt. Learn how you can stay psychologically fit.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Tips for Better Sleep

Video
6/23/2021

Sleep is important for staying mission ready and keeping your mind sharp. When possible, get the Zzzs you need with these tips.

Recommended Content:

Sleep | Psychological Fitness

5 Tips to Manage Anger

Video
6/23/2021

When dealing with the stresses of military life, anger can become frequent or intense. Use these tips to manage anger in a healthy way.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Anger

5 Tips to Stay Mission Ready

Video
6/23/2021

Getting the job done in the military takes more than just physical strength. Whether you are at home or abroad, follow these tips to stay mission ready and mentally fit.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

59 Sec PSA: Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca

Video
6/23/2021

As a senior noncommissioned officer, retired Command Sergeant Major Greca did not recognize the subtle signs and symptoms of his physical and invisible wounds. Hear how CSM Greca realized that it takes strength to recognize the warning signs, and to seek support from military health resources.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

59 Sec PSA: Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson

Video
6/23/2021

Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson spent years reliving memories of her sexual assault. By seeking care, Staff Sgt. Johnson learned what triggered her and how to cope when memories resurfaced. Hear how Staff Sgt. Johnson turned a traumatic event into an opportunity to share her story and help others.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Sexual Trauma

Avoiding Substance Misuse as a Coping Mechanism

Video
6/23/2021

Military life is rewarding, yet often stressful. Learn five options to help you find healthy ways to cope with stress.

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse | Psychological Fitness

Coping with Flashbacks Between Appointments

Video
6/23/2021

Flashbacks can sometimes occur during treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. Follow these tips to help cope with flashbacks between appointments with a health care provider.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Depression: Know the Signs and Options for Care

Video
6/23/2021

Depression is treatable and treatment works. Learn the signs and options for getting care.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Depression

Get Ready for Your First Appointment

Video
6/23/2021

When you meet with a health care provider for the first time, it’s important to be honest about your concerns to make the best treatment plan for you. Learn tips to help you get ready.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

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.