In recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Month, Paralyzed Veterans of America is making yet another effort to ensure individuals across the country know the signs of suicide risk and the resources available to promote mental health and prevent veteran suicide.
Whether the newest generation of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan or veterans from past eras who have endured visible and hidden wounds, mental health problems and suicides claims the lives of veterans every day. Suicide Prevention Month is an effort to remind everyone that they can make a difference in the life of a veteran today.
“Suicide among veterans is a hidden cost of war that we have an obligation to reduce to the greatest extent possible,” said Sherman Gillums, Jr. deputy executive director ofParalyzed Veterans of America. “It is one thing to thank our military members for their service. It is quite another to leave those who live with the aftereffects alone to face them.”
A critical step in preventing suicide is learning to recognize the warning signs. While a veteran may not show any of the common signs or symptoms of harming themselves, there are other behaviors that could indicate a veteran in need of support. Such signs include talking about suicide or harming oneself, engaging in risky behaviors, alcohol or drug abuse, withdrawing from family and friends, and feeling hopeless, anxious and angry.