Suicide is a complex issue. There is no single cause or solution. However, there are steps each of us can take to prevent suicide. It starts with recognizing the warning signs of suicide.
Although it may not be obvious, individuals experiencing a crisis typically exhibit one or more warning signs. Your ability to identify these signs will better prepare you to take action and could save a life.
The following signs require immediate attention. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these and needs medical attention, call 911 now. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1.
Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to talk to someone that is going through a difficult time. Worries about saying the wrong thing can get in the way of preventing suicide, so don’t be afraid to ASK the question: “Are you thinking about suicide?” It’s a common fear that asking others about suicide will put the idea in their head — but that is NOT true. Asking directly shows them that you care and are someone they can open up to about how they’re feeling. You could be the only person to reach out to them, so don’t wait for someone else to check in.
If they answer “yes” – then it’s important to listen without judgement and take the next steps to get them connected to help, like calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988, press 1 for veterans.