Suicide is an important problem affecting military service members and veterans. The military services include an Active Component (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy) and a Reserve Component. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Defense suggest that although suicide rates vary across these groups.
Risk and Protective Factors
Suicide prevention efforts seek to reduce risk factors for suicide and strengthen the factors that help strengthen individuals and protect them from suicide. Here are a few examples:
- Mood and anxiety disorders
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Prior suicide attempt
- Stressful situations (e.g., childhood trauma, relationship problems, legal issues, financial troubles)
- Physical health problems
- Effective care for mental and physical health problems
- Life skills training (e.g., financial management, communication, marriage and family relationships, conflict resolution)
Additional Helpful Resources for Veterans and Military Families
University of Louisville and Local Area Resources
University of Louisville Campus Resource Team OMVSS works with departments and offices across campus to help veteran students obtain answers to their questions more effectively and efficiently. These collaborations allow straight-line communications between offices that better assist veteran students with issues, challenges, and concerns.
Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville An online resource of an integrated network of support for veterans and their families.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
Military Crisis Line The Military Crisis Line, online chat, and text-messaging service are free to all Service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans, even if you are not registered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or enrolled in VA health care. Hundreds of men and women in the military call us every day, and start to get back on track.
The Veterans Self-Check Quiz is a safe, easy way to learn whether stress and depression might be affecting you. Using this service is completely voluntary and confidential.
Military Family Members US Department of Veteran Affairs online resources. Click on the military families tab to access information specific to family members.
US Military Matters Free online trainings and resources for service members and families, and mental health professionals.
US Department of Veteran Affairs Authoritative mental health information and resources for Veterans and their families. Get help for Veterans experiencing a crisis.
Videos are available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations about reaching out for help.
For more information, visit our Resource Section.
Additional materials from Veterans Crisis Line
We could do this
The PSA “I’m Good. But are you ready to listen?” features actual Veterans and Service members talking about the conflicting feelings that can sometimes accompany offhand responses like “I’m good.” The PSA also highlights the role that everyone can play in helping to prevent suicide. It shows the importance of being there for the people in our lives who, though they may not always show it, aren’t doing so well.
Please watch this PSA and share it on your social networks. By doing so, you’ll encourage others to take the time to truly listen to the Veterans and Service members they encounter every day. The simple act of listening can be the turning point that enables a Veteran or Service member to reach out for help.