Veteran suicide prevention
If you’re a Veteran in a mental health crisis and you’re thinking about hurting yourself—or you know a Veteran who’s considering this—get help right away. You’re not alone.
How do I talk to someone right now?
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified Veterans Crisis Line responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This service is private, free, and available 24/7.
Here’s how you can connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder, anytime day or night:
- Call 988 and select 1.
- Text 838255.
- Start a confidential chat.
- If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-799-4889.
You can also take these actions:
Will VA cover my emergency mental health care?
We may be able to provide or cover the cost of your emergency mental health care and up to 90 days of related services—even if you’re not enrolled in VA health care.
If a health care provider determines you’re at risk of immediate self-harm, we can provide or cover the cost of your care if you meet at least 1 of these requirements:
- You were the victim of sexual assault, battery, or harassment while serving in the Armed Forces, or
- You served on active duty for more than 24 months and didn’t get a dishonorable discharge, or
- You served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation (including as a member of the Reserve) and didn’t get a dishonorable discharge. You meet this requirement if you served directly or if you operated an unmanned aerial vehicle from another location.
If you go to a non-VA emergency department for help, tell the staff you’re a Veteran. Ask them to contact us right away.
Learn more about getting emergency care at non-VA facilities
How can I get ongoing support?
You can get ongoing support through your local VA health care facility or regional office:
- Our specially trained suicide prevention coordinators—available in each VA medical center across the country—can help you get the counseling and services you need.
Find your nearest VA medical center
- Our Vet Centers can help you—and your family—readjust to life at home after you’ve returned from serving in a combat zone.
Find your nearest Vet Center
- Our Veterans Benefits Administration offices can help you access benefits for disability compensation (monthly payments), job training, home loans, and more.
Find your nearest regional office
You can also find information and support on our websites:
- Find local resources from the Veterans Crisis Line.
Go to the Veterans Crisis Line website resource locator
- Get information about suicide prevention and the support we offer.
Go to our suicide prevention website
- Go to our Make the Connection website to get resources and watch stories of Veterans who’ve overcome depression and other mental health challenges.
Go to the Make the Connection website
Information for family and friends
Many Veterans don’t show any signs of an urge to harm themselves before doing so. But some may show signs like these of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or hopelessness:
- Seeming sad, depressed, anxious, or agitated most of the time
- Sleeping either all the time or not much at all
- Not caring about what they look like or what happens to them
- Pulling away from friends, family, and society
- Losing interest in hobbies, work, school, or other things they used to care about
- Expressing feelings of excessive guilt or shame, failure, lack of purpose in life, or being trapped
They may also change the way they act, and start to show signs like these:
- Perform poorly at work or school
- Act violently or take risks (like driving fast or running red lights)
- Do things to prepare for a suicide (like giving away special personal items, making a will, or seeking access to guns or pills)
Get information about suicide prevention and the support we offer.
Yes. If you’re a family member or friend of a Veteran who’s having trouble adjusting to life at home, we can help. Through our national Coaching Into Care program, our licensed psychologists and social workers will talk with you by phone, free of charge. We can help you find your way around the VA system and figure out the best way to help the Veteran you care about. All calls are confidential (private).
To get tips and resources for spouses, parents, and Veterans, go to the Coaching Into Care website.