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Seeking help is a sign of strength, but it’s not always easy to do. If your Battle Buddy is going through a difficult time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. As Soldiers, it’s our responsibility to engage. Suicide is preventable, and we can all take action to prevent it. Knowing the warning signs for suicide may help you determine if your Battle Buddy is at risk. Warning signs for suicide include:

·        Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live

·        Acting anxious or agitated

·        Extreme mood swings or intense rage

·        Engaging in risky activities or behaving recklessly

·        Talking about being in unbearable pain or a burden to others

·        Increasing alcohol or drug abuse

·        Sleeping too little or too much

·        Withdrawing or isolating themselves from Family, friends, and colleagues

·        Unusual spending

·        Preparing a will, giving away possessions, or making arrangements for pets

·        Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves

·        Talking about or looking for ways to die

·        Trying to obtain or obtaining means to kill themselves

If your Battle Buddy exhibits any of these warning signs, be there for them and take action. First, ask them if they’re thinking about suicide. Being direct may feel uncomfortable, but it can help save a life. If your Battle Buddy is thinking about suicide, keep them safe by separating them from anything they could use to hurt themselves. Then listen to them with compassion and empathy, and escort them to an appropriate support resource.

If your Battle Buddy is in immediate danger, call 911, your local military police, or take them to the nearest emergency room. Otherwise, escort them to a health care provider, a Chaplain, your chain of command, or call or chat with the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat. If they would prefer to connect with someone from the Military Crisis Line, call the Lifeline and press 1, or chat online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat. If you’re calling from overseas, use the contact information below:

·        In Europe: Call 00800 1273 8255

·        In Korea: Call 0808 555 118

·        In Afghanistan: Call 00 1 800 273 8255