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Soldier Suicide Prevention Tips

Suicide Prevention Strategies

This is a 68-page document from the CDC offers a more detailed action items to prevent suicide. This technical package is a collection of strategies that represents the best available evidence to help states and communities prevent or reduce suicide. A technical package means it’s not tactical, but I wanted to offer it here as a longer-term solution for larger entities like a community, organization or state. There is one good graphic take away that I thought might be more useful for the individual or family posted below:

suicide prevention graphic once a soldier charity

Suicide Prevention Tip 1: Speak Up If You’re Worried

If you spot the warning signs of solider, veteran or civilian suicide in someone you care about, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to say anything. What if you’re wrong? What if the person gets angry? In such situations, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable or afraid. But anyone who talks about suicide or shows other warning signs needs immediate help—the sooner the better.

Tip 2: Respond Quickly to Prevent an Attempt

If a soldier, veteran, friend or family member tells you that he or she is thinking about death or suicide, it’s important to evaluate the immediate danger the person is in. Those at the highest risk for suicide in the near future have a specific suicide PLAN, the MEANS to carry out the plan, a TIME SET for doing it, and an INTENTION to do it.

The following questions can help you assess the immediate risk for suicide:

  • Do you have a suicide plan? (PLAN)
  • Do you have what you need to carry out your plan (pills, gun, etc.)? (MEANS)
  • Do you know when you would do it? (TIME SET)
  • Do you intend to take your own life? (INTENTION)

soldier suicide prevention tips

Tip 3: Offer help and support

If a friend or family member is suicidal, the best way to help is by offering an empathetic, listening ear. Let your loved one know that he or she is not alone and that you care. Don’t take responsibility, however, for making your loved one well. You can offer support, but you can’t get better for a suicidal person. He or she has to make a personal commitment to recovery.

It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal. Witnessing a loved one dealing with thoughts about ending his or her own life can stir up many difficult emotions. As you’re helping a suicidal person, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Find someone that you trust—a friend, family member, clergyman, or counselor—to talk to about your feelings and get support of your own.

These tips were found here and if you want to read more, and that is highly suggested because it is a very well-written piece.

More Tips

  • It’s okay to be silent after you’ve started the conversation. Give them room to breathe.
  • Be persistent. Don’t let one attempt turned back be the end. Use good judgement but be persistent in your caring.
  • Suggest or show them options to talk to someone. You’re not the expert, so don’t try to be. Others are ready to help you and use it.

About Once a Soldier

Once a Soldier’s mission is to help the families after a soldier suicide. Most soldier suicides are performed by veterans who have lost touch with the VA and their families won’t be getting any financial help from the government at this critical time. Even when they do, the support is limited. We aspire to fill or close that gap especially when it comes to the heartbreak of paying funeral costs. But this post aspires to be a place where someone in need RIGHT NOW can get some help for themselves or for a loved one who’s thinking about suicide.

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