Here are five steps you can take to help a veteran in emotional pain:
- Start the conversation: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question to ask, but it could save the life of an at-risk person.
- Keep Them Safe: Remove access to guns, pills or other lethal items.
- Be There: Listen carefully. Learn what the person is thinking or feeling.
- Help Them Connect: For an immediate crisis, call the 988 Suicide or Crisis Lifeline. Then make a referral to professional services including the Road Home Program and others.
- Stay Connected: Staying in touch after a crisis. Studies show the number of suicides goes down when someone follows up with an at-risk person.
If you know a veteran or service member in need of help, take action here.