Veteran Suicide Prevention

Veteran suicide is all too common a tragedy. Learn how Hawaii Island Recovery can help you prevent veteran suicide by calling us today at (866) 390-5070.

Veterans face many challenges in their transition to civilian life. Leaving behind established military cultures and ways of life can be filled with uncertainty and stress. Coupled with traumatic experiences from a veteran’s time in service, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, and more, finding an effective treatment for veterans in civilian life is necessary. 

However, one of the most devastating challenges veterans face is suicidal ideation, and the need for professional veteran suicide prevention to address any and all factors that inform these devastating thoughts is essential. Hawaii Island Recovery is committed to serving these veterans who have bravely served their country by preventing veteran suicide and addressing the unique needs of veterans for a healthy civilian life. 

Addressing Suicide Among Veterans

Suicide is a tragedy that can affect anyone. However, the experiences from a veteran’s time in the armed forces can significantly impact their propensity for suicidal ideation, leaving veterans uniquely susceptible to suicidal thoughts and actions. 

Veterans have one of the highest rates of suicide among any demographic, with an estimated 17 veterans per day dying by suicide. Unfortunately, these rates also continue to increase, with rates of veteran suicide increasing by 36% between 2001 and 2019. Experiencing traumas in an active warzone, the wars serviced, the number of deployments, and experiences no base can all inform veterans’ thoughts of suicide.

Addressing suicide among veterans

Veterans face a collection of challenges in their journey toward a healthy, sober civilian life, and it is important to address each of these unique needs to prevent veteran suicide. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we work to not only address suicidal thoughts but also are equipped to address the experiences and challenges that inform suicidal ideation in veterans. 

Identifying Signs of Suicidal Ideation in Veterans

Recognizing the signs of veteran suicidal ideation is the first step in taking action to prevent its devastating effects. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms, professional treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery may be necessary:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty adhering to a sleep routine
  • Persistent feelings of anxiety, panic, or anger
  • Increase in self-isolation or withdrawal from family, friends, and loved ones
  • Expressing feelings of guilt or shame
  • Self-belittling language or ideology
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
  • Disinterest in previous hobbies
  • Expressing thoughts or feelings of mortality or the meaning of life
  • Decrease in concern for own health or safety
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior
  • Expressing feelings of worthlessness or burden to others, especially regarding their own physical or mental health
  • Changes toward more absolutist language
  • Making a will
  • Giving away personal items 

Recognizing any of these signs can be a cause for preventive action and may facilitate the need for professional treatment. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, survivor’s guilt, addiction, and much more are all common challenges veterans face. Addressing their profound effects on civilian life is necessary to address veteran suicide. 

Preventing Veteran Suicide

There is no easy way to overcome veteran suicidal ideation. However, working with veteran loved ones and better understanding the challenges they face can all help prevent the most tragic outcome. Hawaii Island Recovery is prepared to work with veterans and their families to create effective veteran suicide prevention plans.  

Locking Away Guns

Having personal access to firearms is common across many veteran households. Veterans may purchase personal arms in an effort to protect themselves and their families and are trained to use these deadly weapons. With access to and knowledge of firearms, locking them away is absolutely necessary. The extra time needed to unlock these locks can be life-saving by preventing sudden, intense moments of desperation from becoming irreversible tragedies. 

Locking away guns

Ask Questions

After identifying any signs of potential suicidal ideation, it is crucial to act on this information. Asking veterans about how they are feeling or thoughts they may be having can prompt veterans to truly consider their thoughts and actions while opening a profound dialogue. Such questions can also inform the necessary professional outlets. 

Keeping these dialogues open and honest can reveal other factors that may inform veteran suicide, such as trauma, PTSD, depression, and more. This information is essential for creating personalized veteran recovery programs. It is possible that many veterans may be reluctant to discuss suicide or their challenges outright. Keeping questions general and paying attention to how veteran loved ones navigate these questions can still provide useful information to further inform the best preventive action. 

Don’t Argue

Even if an individual disagrees with a veteran’s point of view, that doesn’t mean their feelings or thoughts are somehow invalid. Rather, it can be more important to listen to and validate these experiences. Creating an atmosphere of understanding, support, and caring is instrumental for further support to be effective in preventing veteran suicide. 

Seeking Professional Treatment

Hawaii Island Recovery is committed to serving veterans of all branches of the military. With our dedicated veteran program and comprehensive, trauma-informed care, we are prepared to address the challenges that veterans face each and every day. There is nothing easy about overcoming suicidal thoughts and the feelings, substance use, or trauma that may all inform them. Our comprehensive approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual healing is curated for veteran-specific care. 

8-bed Residence at Hawaii Island Recovery
Hawaii Island Recovery | Addiction Treamtnet Center for Veterans

Hawaii Island Recovery’s community of peers also creates a safe space of understanding and acceptance as veterans come together in solidarity to address their transition to civilian life and navigate any other challenges present even after being discharged from service. Our residential treatment and continued veteran support are part of our unique Hawaiian recovery to help you or your loved one overcome suicidal thoughts in a safe and supportive atmosphere. 

Get Help Today!

If you or a loved one need help, call Hawaii Island Recovery toll-free right now.