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Military Health System

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 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 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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Suicide Prevention Draws Awareness at Madigan

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9/27/2022
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris speaking at Madigan Army Medical Center

The numbers shock and offend the senses – roughly one active duty service member ends their life each day; add in Reserve and National Guard components and the number rises to an average of 1.5 per day. Madigan Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health hosted a National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month event on September 22, to raise awareness among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., community and honor those who have passed.

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Suicide Prevention: A Message from Lt. Gen. Place

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The Director of the Defense Health Agency, Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, gives a message on Suicide Prevention. Service members’ lives are different from the lives of civilians. Relocations, deployments, time away from family, and stressful experiences related to combat can increase suicide risk. Suicide prevention remains a top priority for the DOD and the Military Health System. All Military Health System providers are trained to identify suicide warning signs. We’ve developed evidence-based tools for suicide risk assessment and care across every single military hospital and clinic. And if help is needed, we’re committed to ensuring our patients get the health care they've earned. Working together we can all help reduce the risk and prevent suicides.

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September is Suicide Prevention Month

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9/22/2022
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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. his year’s theme is “Be The One To Stop Suicide Before It Starts.” The month is set aside each year to bring heightened awareness to suicide prevention.

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H2F Making a Difference, Tackling the Whole Approach to Care

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Suicide Prevention Month officially kicked off with a suicide survivor panel at the Fort Bragg Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center

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Suicide Prevention Month

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September is Suicide Prevention Month. No one fights the battle alone. Make it your mission to #BeThere for each other.

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Suicide Awareness Month Reminder: Seek Help for PTSD

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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a real mental health issue. Be aware and seek help.

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Suicide Prevention: One Mother's Story

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Virginia Cooper's son, Joshua Jaymes Wood, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, was 30 years old when he took his life on November 7, 2021. This is her story.

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July MHS Minute

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The July MHS Minute highlights a dedicated webpage for women's health to educate women and their partners on the health care services and resources available to them. Visit https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Womens-Health to learn more. Additionally, learn more about the new national suicide and crisis lifeline, 988.

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Suicide Prevention Infographic 1

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Seeking help early can help prevent a crisis. Learn more about the treatment options and resources available to get help: www.health.mil/HereForYou #ConnectToProtect

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September marks the beginning of Suicide Prevention Month. Visit our toolkit for products for you and your organization to promote suicide prevention resources: Suicide Prevention | Health.mil #ConnectToProtect

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Last Updated: November 21, 2022
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