Suicide is a national public health issue that affects all Americans. The health and well-being of our nation’s veterans is our highest priority.

Veterans in crisis and their loved ones can call, text, or chat to connect with caring VA responders at the free and confidential Veterans Crisis Line, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Responders are specially trained and experienced in helping veterans of all ages and circumstances to deal with any immediate crisis.

Learn to recognize red flags

People can experience an emotional or mental health crisis due to a wide range of situations. For veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of self-harm.

The following can all be warning signs:

  • Appearing sad or depressed most of the time
  • Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling as if there is no reason to live
  • Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school
  • Increasing alcohol or drug misuse
  • Neglecting personal welfare; a deteriorating physical appearance
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will