On average, one member of the Armed Forces dies by suicide every 25 hours (2013) and for veterans, suicide is the cause of death of an estimated 22 veterans each day. In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
The loss of someone to suicide resonates among family, friends, coworkers, and others in the community. It has been estimated that for each person who commits suicide, 5 to 10 other people are severely affected by the loss. Family and friends may experience a range of painful emotions, such as shock, anger, guilt, and depression. Suicide can occur across demographics, but certain groups are more at risk than the general population. Risk factors for suicide include mental illness, substance abuse, family history of suicide, and previous suicide attempts. Additional risk factors for some people may include a highly stressful life event or prolonged stress from problems like unemployment, serious relationship conflict, or bullying.
Suicide is devastating, but there are resources and information available to help prevent it.
Learn more to be the one who makes a difference.
- What are the warning signs of suicide?
- Learn the ACE Suicide Intervention Model
- Learn what you can do to help protect your loved ones and community by downloading the Fact Sheet for Prevention of Suicide in the U.S. [pdf].
- Visit our page on Suicide Awareness
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – A website that provides a downloadable wallet card with the Lifeline phone number and suicide warning signs in English and Spanish, as well as other materials for coping and caring for loved ones. The toll-free Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK ) offers confidential help 24 hours a day to individuals considering suicide and their friends and family.
- StopBullying.gov – A website that provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how to prevent and respond to bullying.
- SAMHSA’s Mental Health Services Locator – A resource to help people find mental health services and resources in their communities.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – A public-private collaboration SAMHSA has developed to help promote suicide prevention.
- The Trevor Project – An organization that promotes acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning teens and helps to prevent suicide among those youth. The Trevor Helpline, which can be reached at 1-866-488-7386, is a 24-hour toll-free suicide helpline for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning youth.
- The Suicide Prevention Resource Center – A resource that provides access to the science and experience that can support efforts to develop programs, implement interventions, and promote policies to prevent suicide. Resources include information on school-based prevention programs, a best practices registry, state information and more.
Knowing the ACE suicide intervention model is key to being a Wingman. ACE provides a simple yet extremely effective approach to helping someone who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. Watch the video below to learn ACE so you’ll be ready to intervene and save a life.
Ask – Ask directly: “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
Care – Intervene. Control the situation. Use active listening. Remove the means to do self-injury.
Escort – Get them to a primary care provider, chaplain, or other healthcare professional.
Call the Hotline 1-800-273-8255
If you’d like to talk to someone about helping a friend or family member, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Trained volunteers will speak with you about how to help your friend the best way you can.