Reach out and stay connected. Be There.
The following are drawn from www.veteranscrisisline.net, an amazing platform of resources to help Veterans in crisis. Many of the resources there are helpful for non-veterans as well. Consider browsing resources there to help anyone you may know experiencing crisis, suicidal thoughts, or otherwise at risk.
For anyone facing hard times, your support can provide hope when it’s needed most—and you already have what it takes to show you care. Take a few minutes to check in today.
The website starts you off with ideas for extending a call, text, or email to let someone know you care:
Talking on the phone with your Veteran loved ones can strengthen your connection. Calling to just catch up is important—especially during this unpredictable time.
- Not only does an open and honest conversation help people feel less alone, but it also can give you a window into their experiences.
If you’re worried about someone, you might need to have a more serious conversation.
- Remind them you are there for them, even if physically apart. It’s easier to feel isolated these days—so reaching out is more important than ever.
- Validate their experience. Listen more than you speak—don’t dominate the conversation. Even if you can’t relate to what they are going through, you can tell them you understand that they went through something difficult and show them you respect their feelings about it.
- Let them decide how much information to share. Supportive and encouraging comments, rather than invasive personal questions, will create a space for open communication and avoid putting them on the defensive.
- If you’re concerned, it’s okay to ask directly if they are thinking about suicide. Asking questions about thoughts of suicide does not increase a person’s suicide risk, and the answers can help you determine the next steps to take.
Suicide is preventable. Be There.
Hotlines to Call for 24-7 Support:
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Teen Line: 310-855-4673 (or TEXT TEEN to 839863)
Project Safe Place: 1-888-290-7233: Provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for young people in crisis through a network of qualified agencies, trained volunteers and businesses in 32 states. Call to find out if the program operates in your state, or look online.
Did you know suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between 10 and 24? Please find additional resources for youth here. Help make a safety plan so you or a loved one are better prepared to cope with the tougher times. There are great ideas listed here.
Ideas for messages you might send to let a person know you care:
Be sure to follow-up however you promised. Let them know you care.