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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 National Suicide Prevention Hotline  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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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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Back from the Brink: One Marine's Recovery from Suicidal Thoughts

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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.

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

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

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Osan's mental health team connects with Airmen

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L. Diane Heard, 51st Munitions Squadron, violence prevention integrator, sits at her desk at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

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

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Last Updated: May 23, 2022

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