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Calling a friend, meeting a colleague for coffee, having dinner with a relative - these everyday actions can seem small, but they have the power to make a huge difference for someone going through a difficult time. And it doesn't require a grand gesture or complicated task. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone.
Veterans and service members may navigate many transitions - such as sending a child off to college, retiring, or losing a loved one. Sometimes these challenges contribute to feelings of hopelessness or even thoughts of suicide. That's when the support of family and friends is crucial.
Being there for someone can be easy, but starting a conversation about your concerns for that person or making hints on the subject of suicide can seem much more challenging. The most important thing is to show genuine, heartfelt support for someone going through a rough period. People may worry about what to say, fear that they will make matters worse, or think that special training is required to raise the subject safely.
Before you start a conversation, do some research to find out what suicide prevention resources are available. If you notice warning signs in yourself or another Veteran, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. You can chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text 838255 to get confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.