The loss of any warrior’s life is a tragedy, whether it’s in combat or in a different type of battle. Although relatively uncommon overall, suicide events occur across all service branches. Every suicide within the military community is ultimately preventable, and even one is too many.
That’s why it’s critical to speak up if you have concerns about the psychological wellbeing of a fellow service member. Use the information below to learn how to recognize when a warrior may be at risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and what to do when you identify a problem.
You’ve been trained to identify sources of physical danger for yourself and your fellow warriors. You can also identify psychological concerns that may be affecting service members in your unit or larger community by asking yourself some questions about individual’s behavioral health.
Watch Maj. Jeff Hall  tell the story of how his commanding officer helped him get the care he needed after he became increasingly angry, isolated and contemplated suicide. After seeking care, Maj. Hall continues to have a successful career in the Army and shares his experience to motivate others to seek help.
Is someone you know showing these signs of concern?1
Suicidal thoughts are usually associated with psychological concerns that can be cared for, so proactively seeking support is the best way to ensure resilience and a positive outcome.2 If your fellow service member is showing any of the above signs of concern, don’t hesitate — have the strength to take action.
If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide or experiencing a psychological health crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, Press 1 or visit militarycrisisline.net .
It takes courage to deal with psychological concerns in yourself or a fellow warrior. If the situation is urgent, use these resources to get immediate assistance:
Listen to the Real Warriors Campaign podcast, “Lending Support to Fellow Service Members ,” to hear how Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall, a combat photographer who deployed multiple times to Iraq, received support from a fellow combat photographer who recognized the symptoms of psychological stress and helped her get the care she needed.
The stakes in the fight against military suicide are the same as the stakes in combat: lives are on the line. That’s why — now more than ever — you must use your strength to step up and take action if someone you know is at risk.
Read more suicide prevention articles from the Real Warriors Campaign:
Learn more about identifying signs of concern:
Get additional information about preventing suicide:
1 “Leader’s Guide for Managing Marines in Distress ,” Marine Corps. Last accessed Sep. 12, 2012.
2 “Thinking About Suicide ?” American Association of Suicidology. Last accessed Sep. 12, 2012.
3ACE Suicide Prevention Card . (TA-120-0909) Defense Department. Published September 2009.
4ACE Suicide Prevention Program: Trainer’s Manual  [PDF 1.81MB]. U.S. Army Public Health Command. Published Jan. 28, 2008.