Updated: February 19th, 2012
If you are a Veteran having thoughts about hurting or killing yourself, and you are looking for ways to do so, then you need help fast. Pick up the phone and call the Veterans Crisis Line today: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
If you are not ready to talk to someone about suicidal feelings over the phone, or concerned that a family member/loved one might overhear your conversation, then try using the confidential “live chat” featured at VeteransCrisisLine.net
or try the new text feature added in February 2012*
Veterans who aren’t quite sure whether they are depressed, suicidal, or both can now do a “self-check” quiz that will be reviewed by an experienced counselor: www.vetselfcheck.org
- Increased Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, alcoholism, weapons usage, and/or engagement in risky activities without thought.
- Excessive Rage, anger, agitation, sleeplessness, anxiety, or mood swings
- Withdrawal from family and friends. Feeling like there is no reason to live.
If you are a concerned family member or the friend of a Veteran in crisis, then please visit the website to find out how you can help.
A November 2011 report from the service’s Suicide Prevention Program says that 11 Marines attempted suicide in October, raising the year-to-date figure to 163 for 2011.
The news comes on the heels of another report from the influential Center for a New American Security in Washington that says U.S. service members took their own lives at a rate of one every 36 hours between 2005 and 2010.
The report also says that a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes, attributing that information to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Read related story: here
*Update February 19th, 2012: VA Adds Texting Feature to Crisis Line: Since its launch in 2007, the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 500,000 confidential calls, and trained responders have made more than 18,000 rescues. In 2009, an anonymous online chat service was added, which has already helped more than 28,000 people.
- Now VA has added a third option for veterans, service members and family members who would rather text than call or go online: a free text messaging service at 838255.
- The confidential Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255, Press 1), online chat (www.VeteransCrisisLine.net), and
- text messaging service (838255) are monitored 24/7 by trained crisis responders.