Veterans – Suicide Prevention

Veterans – Suicide Prevention


Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) Suicide Prevention Month 2020

Talking Points

These talking points can guide your conversations around Suicide Prevention Month 2020. You can also use them to inform presentations or outreach during Suicide Prevention Month.


Overview of Suicide Prevention Month

  • September is Suicide Prevention Month (SPM), a national monthlong initiative to amplify awareness of suicide prevention and connect Veterans and their supporters with the resources they need.
  • Be There will continue to serve as the theme for SPM 2020 campaign and will focus on increasing awareness and understanding of suicide prevention.
  • VA encourages everyone to:
    • Take action.
    • Start the conversation.
    • Share the resources and support available.
  • Visit com to learn more about preventing suicide and access available resources. (Note: Updated content will be available end of August)

Take Action

  • Your support can give hope to a Veteran going through a difficult time. This support includes:
    • Direct Veterans to appropriate resources, such as safe gun and medication storage, to work towards suicide prevention in your community.
    • Normalize and speak openly about suicide with Veterans. This does not make them want to die by suicide or plant those ideas—and it can reduce the stigma of suicide.
    • Disseminate SPM materials and messaging among your colleagues and community members.
    • Amplify SPM and messaging to Veterans, as well as their family members and support networks.
  • Visit for important guidance on how to safely communicate about suicide.



Start the Conversation

  • Help prevent suicide by starting a discussion. Learn how to start the conversation at
  • Ask someone if they are having thoughts of suicide and promote discussions about current life challenges, such as financial hardship or relationship strain.

Share Resources and Support

  • Suicide is preventable. If you know a Veteran facing a tough time, there are resources that can help you provide hope and support. These include:
    • A.V.E. Training: This online suicide prevention training video teaches you how to talk to Veterans who may be at risk for suicide.
    • Community Outreach Toolkit: This resource can help anyone host or participate in events to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.
    • Social Media Safety Toolkit: This guide includes best practices and sample posts for responding to social media content that may indicate that someone is in emotional distress.
  • More resources can be found on VA’s suicide prevention webpage or at com .

September is Suicide Prevention Month.

VA’s Be There campaign encourages family and friends to
take small actions to support Veterans, which can in turn make a big difference. Be There is intended
to empower all members of the community to play a role in preventing suicide among Veterans.
Host a S.A.V.E. Training for your community and ask your local Suicide Prevention Coordinator
(SPC) to help coordinate.
Share our social media messages
and graphics on Facebook, Twitter,
and Instagram.
Add a web banner to your facility website or office webpage.
Connect with your local SPC and ask about training opportunities.
Add the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1)
to your signature block in case a Veteran you know is having thoughts of suicide.
Here are ways your organization can join Suicide Prevention Month efforts:
Download Suicide Prevention Month materials and learn more
about VA’s Be There campaign at September is Suicide Prevention Month.