It’s not uncommon for Soldiers to go through rough times or have negative thoughts. These thoughts could be the result of stress, a traumatic experience, or other life events. But if you begin to have suicidal thoughts, like wanting to harm yourself, seek help now by calling 800-273-TALK (8255). Free and confidential resources are available to help you anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why Do I Feel This Way?
Life events can sometimes cause feelings of anger, grief, anxiety, or sadness. Although these feelings can be common reactions to a single stressful event or a series of events, they may also be signs of a more serious concern.
Soldiers who have experienced the following conditions may be at higher risk for having suicidal thoughts:
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can occur after you’ve experienced a traumatic event, like combat, a serious accident, or a natural disaster. It can cause a person to feel fear or intense stress even when there is no danger around.
- Depression. Being depressed is more than just a case of “the blues.” Depression is a clinical condition that occurs when a person feels hopeless, sad, or withdrawn from life for more than a few weeks.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A TBI results from sudden trauma to the head that causes damage to the brain. It can lead to changes in your mood and behavior.
Help is Available
Don’t be afraid to reach out. Commanders and line leaders want Soldiers to get help and support when they need it. There are many resources available to support Soldiers who are having suicidal thoughts or other behavioral health concerns:
- Contact the Military Crisis Line by calling 800-273-TALK (8255) and pressing 1, chatting online, or sending a text to 838255 for 24/7, confidential counseling services.
- Find a National Guard chaplain or psychological health coordinator in your state to get support in a safe, confidential environment.
- Visit the Real Warriors Campaign website to learn about resources for service members, Veterans, and military families coping with behavioral health concerns.
- Call Vets4Warriors at 855-838-8255 for peer support provided by Veterans to Guard Soldiers and their families.
- Reach out to a trusted family member or friend. Your family and friends care about you.
If you’ve had suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. But help is out there. Reaching out for help now will get you on your way to living a fulfilling life.