Behavioral Health

 Suicide Prevention

Last Updated: January 31, 2024
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Suicide is a significant public health issue that impacts individuals, families, communities, and society at large. Policies, programs, training, and resources are available to support suicide prevention as a top priority for the military. For more information on suicides, check out the surveillance of suicidal behavior reports.

Decades of military surveillance and investigations have yielded information regarding military suicide rates and trends, risk factors and correlated health conditions (such as sleep disorders).

For more information visit resources from public health field studies.

  • ​Recognizing suicide warning signs, stressors can save lives - even your own
  • Mixed messages can fuel stigma prevent soldiers accessing behavioral healthcare

Different Service components each promote activities that aim to reduce these tragedies:   

Army:  The Army Suicide Prevention Program (SP2) is an integral part of the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign. SP2 educates and trains active duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members on suicide prevention and postvention actions to minimize the risk for suicide to include:

  • ​Intervention strategies
  • Services and resources

For Immediate Concerns

If you or someone you know needs help now, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988 and press 1 for the Military Crisis Line or text 838255​.

• The Military Crisis LineExternal Link is a free, confidential resource for all service members, including members of the ​National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans, even if they’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.

The Defense Centers for Public Health and the Army Suicide Prevention Office are NOT crisis centers and do NOT provide counseling services.

Resilience 

We learn to be resilient, and we can learn from the stories of others who faced challenges and overcame difficulties. 

Leaders have an important role in building personal and unit readiness and resilience.

Community Resource Guide

Leader Resources: 

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) published guidance for command teams to implement an integrated suicide prevention program.

  • 22-663 Battalion and Brigade Commanders’ Handbook: Suicide Prevention: Reducing Suicide in Army Formations
  • 22-667 Senior Commander’s Guide to Suicide Prevention: Reducing Suicide in Army Formations

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Resources

Here are ​some DOD and Service suicide prevention resources: