We all have a vital role to play in preventing suicide among the Veterans in our lives and communities. An issue from
the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) Stand SMART for Heroes series suggests that the majority of individuals who
die by suicide do not report suicidal thoughts during medical appointments. The research also suggests that less
than 10% of individuals who die by suicide post explicitly about suicide on social media. However, some individuals
thinking about suicide may post about thoughts of suicide or signs of emotional distress. Social media networks
represent an important tool for identifying and preventing Veteran suicide by enabling family members and friends
to notice changes in an individual’s words and actions.
This toolkit outlines the steps you can take to provide support to the Veterans in your life if ever they express
emotional distress, feelings of crisis, or thoughts of suicide on social media — helping to keep them safe and
providing and encouraging them to connect with resources.
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