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.
To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night:
- Call 988, then select 1.
- Text 838255.
- Start a confidential chat.
- If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-799-4889.
You can also:
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.
- Our Vet Centers can help you—and your family—readjust to life at home after you’ve returned from serving in a combat zone.
- Our Veterans Benefits Administration offices can help you access benefits for disability compensation (monthly payments), job training, home loans, and more.
You can also find information and support on our websites:
Information for family, friends, and caregivers
What are the signs that someone may be considering suicide?
Many Veterans don’t show any signs of an urge to harm themselves before doing so. But some may show signs of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or hopelessness, like:
- 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:
- 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)
Learn about common suicide myths and realities, Veteran-specific suicide risks, and warning signs.
Recognize when to ask for help
I want to help a Veteran adjust to life at home, but I don’t know how. Can I get support?
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, to 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 speak with a VA coach, call 888-823-7458, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
To get tips and resources for spouses, parents, and Veterans, visit the Coaching Into Care website.
Visit Coaching into Care
How do I talk to my child about a suicide attempt in the family?
Get tips for talking to children of different ages about suicide: