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Although suicide is a serious public health concern, it is preventable. You can help by keeping an eye out for warriors who may be struggling. Getting them support quickly is important. So, speak up if you are concerned about the psychological wellbeing of a service member or veteran in your life.
The information below can help you learn to recognize when a warrior may be at risk for suicide and what to do when you identify a problem.
You’ve been trained to identify sources of physical danger for yourself and your fellow warriors. You can also learn to identify psychological health concerns that may be affecting service members in your unit or community.
Some risk factors that increase the likelihood that a person may consider suicide include:
These risk factors don’t mean someone is considering suicide, but they increase the likelihood. Above all, it’s important to let other service members know you are there for them.
Warning signs for suicide that should be addressed immediately include:
If a fellow service member shows any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to act. Psychological health concerns are treatable and treatment helps. Proactively seeking support is the best way to ensure a positive outcome.
Each of the services has guidelines for helping someone at risk for suicide to get care. The guidelines all focus on a similar three-step process that can save a warrior’s life:
If you are unsure exactly what to do you can also talk to a health care provider, chaplain or commanding officer. They can help.
Nice article, so true we need to do more