When a Service Member May Be at Risk for Suicide

A male service member looking down and his hand on his forehead

*Military OneSource does not provide medical counseling services for issues such as depression, substance abuse, suicide prevention or post-traumatic stress disorder. The article below is intended for informational purposes only. Military OneSource can provide referrals to your local military treatment facility, TRICARE or another appropriate resource.

Suicide prevention is a serious issue for service members and their loved ones. Stress that never seems to let up can affect anyone, and some service members may be at greater risk for suicide than others. Factors may include:

  • Being a young, unmarried male of low rank
  • A recent return from deployment, especially when experiencing health problems
  • Lack of advancement
  • A sense of a loss of honor
  • Heavy drinking or other substance abuse problems
  • Mental health problems

Guard members and reservists are of special concern because they often live in areas with limited access to health care services and may not live near an installation or the programs and services provided by the military.

Knowing when a person is at risk and recognizing the warning signs can help you take action to possibly prevent a suicide and make sure the person gets help.

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