Veteran Suicide Prevention & Awareness


Crisis feels different for everybody so try not to think people love to take their lives. For
veterans, they’ve seen hell during military services. What level of terror do you want to
present to someone who has spent a third [or half] of his life with the mindset that the next
minute would be his last? These guys have gone to hell and are back, that’s why they are
veterans anyway. They’ve seen it all on the battlefield; death, war, betrayal, compromise,
you name it. Yes, veterans might be resilient and courageous, yet, they are still humans
[with feelings]. The raging sounds of bombs and other military-grade weapons of different
sizes as well as the frequent firing of guns come with post-traumatic stress. Most of these
traumatic experiences may lead to mental disorders, and eventually, suicide.

No wonder veterans worldwide share a common problem, which is suicide. However, no
matter what’s lost or how many challenges one has faced in life, suicide is never the best
option. If you are a veteran, you are our hero, here’s how to prevent suicide.

Veteran Suicide Prevention

Ask for help: The traditional approach to suicide prevention is asking for help. This seems
to be impossible for veterans because the traumas are too painful to confront. But, veterans
don’t have to be afraid to express those feelings to trusted family members, friends, or
counselors. They’ll help you focus on the feelings and emotions that resulted from the
initial trauma. The veteran can also reach out to confidential 24/7 services like the
Veterans Crisis Line; they can help to overcome those feelings and emotions.

Veterans should give time to heal: Time is the greatest healer! The transition from
warzone into a peaceful atmosphere takes time. Giving time to heal is a simplified way of
how not to commit suicide.

Find a support group: This is the next step in dealing with these issues and resolving
them. Find a support group, join, and talk to other veterans who have gone through the
same kind of trauma that you have. Veterans can find many free resources on the internet
to help with this issue, including Access confidential Homeless Veterans Chat and see
resources for homeless Veterans. Other custom services include Patriot Outreach – a site
that offers a mindfulness meditation to deal with Post Traumatic Stress.

Have an alternate plan: Whenever you are depressed, lost in thoughts, or feeling suicidal,
look for an alternative hobby [that can make you happy] to replace those thoughts. With a
backup plan, veterans can switch moods and thoughts they feel safe.

Veteran Suicide Awareness

Psychiatric drugs, known as antidepressants and antipsychotics, are used to medicate
soldiers during the war. The aftermath of this medication, when abused, can cause brain,
slowed reaction, loss of impulse control, nerve damage, and various perception problems.
All of which can increase suicidality. Limiting the intake of this drug can reduce brain
damage and suicidal attempts.

The Government Cares about Veterans

The U.S. government has implemented various risk prediction initiatives for veterans
including the Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced
Treatment [REACH VET] program. REACH VET is a predictive modeling system that uses a
combination of demographic, prior suicide attempt, mental and physical health diagnoses,
as well as VHA service and medication utilization information from Veterans’ medical
records to identify those at the top 0.1% of the risk for various adverse events, including
suicide. This way, the government can identify any veteran who is at risk of committing
suicide and then implements suicide prevention techniques.