Suicide Prevention Month
Become A Gatekeeper of Hope
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the United States but is the 4th leading cause of death of people ages 18 to 65.
A current analysis Department of Veteran Affairs indicates that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide. The entire veteran population is at risk, suicide is 21% greater than their civilian counterparts with the Vietnam Veteran population having the greatest risk.
As a community, through education, compassion, and HOPE, it is our turn to save the lives of those who took an oath to protect ours.
WHAT IS A GATEKEEPER?
A gatekeeper is anyone in the position to recognize a crisis and the signs that someone might be contemplating suicide.
10 WAYS TO BE A GATEKEEPER OF HOPE IN THE LIFE OF SOMEONE EXPERIENCING A DIFFICULT TIME
Educate yourself by completing PsychArmor’s FREE suicide prevention and awareness courses!
Click here to view their more than 20 online courses related to suicide prevention. The average course takes 24 minutes complete. Giving less than 30 minutes of your time could give someone a lifetime.
HOPE Fact: 100% of Hope For The Warriors staff have completed the PsychArmor S.A.V.E. suicide prevention course!
Take Care of Yourself
To effectively help others, you need to be the best version of you. If you are experiencing stress, depression, or hopelessness, don’t be afraid to tell someone or seek help.
Know the signs of suffering
- Personality Change
- Decline in personal care
Make Time For Them
Your time is the greatest gift that you can give someone. When the person trusts you enough to confide in you, make sure you are giving them your time and undivided attention. Some ways you can show that you are making time for them are giving them your undivided attention, not checking your phone or your watch, cell phone or cutting the conversation short can make them feel unimportant.
Set goals together
Become their gym partner or set a goal to complete a 5K together. Engaging in physical fitness activities, not only has a positive impact on your physical wellbeing but it also has a positive impact on your mental health. Also, the accountability of achieving goals together can give the person a sense of purpose.
If you are interested in setting a goal of completing a 5K, check out our 10 week 5k Training Program by Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer Katie Troy, RD, ACE CPT, ACE WMSC.
Click here to start: https://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/10-week-5k-training-series-for-beginners-part-1/
Interested in joining a team that will support you and helps you achieve your goals while participating in different sports and fitness activities?
Team Hope For The Warriors® provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to engage the competitive spirit at endurance events. Warrior Team members are provided adaptive equipment and race support to ensure that they are defined by their achievements rather than by their injuries. Community Team members challenge themselves to raise funds for America’s heroes, set new athletic goals, or simply support our military. Together, these Team members are united by the goal to improve the rehabilitation of wounded service members and military families.
Try a new activity
“People who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones than people who have fewer experiences.” – psychologist Rich Walker
You can start with something small like trying a new food or try going to yoga or a cooking class.
Read more about the positive impact of engaging in new activities: “Why You Should Try New Things” By Maggie Peikon
Read our newest blog about US Army Veteran Joshua Hamilton who tried a new activity by joining a local veteran support group at a Painting with a Twist class; discovering painting as a therapeutic way to tell his story of struggle with PTSD and thoughts of suicide.
Volunteer with Hope For The Warriors
Volunteerism can reestablish one’s sense of purpose. When you volunteer with Hope For The Warriors, you will see first-hand the tremendous impact your actions are having in the lives veterans and military families. In return, you become a part of a strong supportive network, our Hope Family.
Sign up to volunteer at our upcoming events taking place all over the United States, click Volunteer Hub
Keep in touch
2015 Hope For The Warriors Hope and Courage Award Recipient, Erin Thede who lost her husband to suicide shares, “If you are thinking about reaching out to someone, don’t think about it, don’t wait – just do it.”
Listen and learn more about Erin Thede’s Story:
Keep resources handy
Write this down and tuck it in your wallet:
Veterans Crisis Line (available 24/7)
1-800-273-TALK (8255), then press 1
Advocate for awareness by supporting Hope For The Warriors