National Suicide Prevention Month: Social Media Support


September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Each year we recognize this time as an opportunity to spread awareness and share educational tools to help people who are struggling with their mental health. At Volunteers of America, we know our nation’s veterans often face many challenges when returning from service, including unemployment, poor mental health, physical injuries, and the need for safe, secure housing. If these difficulties go unaddressed, their mental health challenges can worsen.

We look to resources at Veterans Affairs and National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for expert advice. We can all play a vital role in suicide prevention by reaching out to someone who is exhibiting warning signs of crisis or suicide risk and by showing our support. Even the smallest touchpoints can make a big difference for someone who is struggling.

It’s important to note that Veterans Affairs says you don’t need special training to approach the subject of suicide with someone in need. We can all play a vital role in preventing suicide among veterans in our lives and communities. Asking others about suicide does not lead them to have suicidal thoughts. In fact, research tells us that asking others the question opens the door and gives them permission to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, we’re sharing VA’s recommended approach to help you act with care and compassion on social media if you encounter a veteran who is in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Recognize and Respond to Signs on Social Media of a Potential Crisis

Posts and tweets that include discussion of the following behaviors are signs of a potential crisis and require immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse, weapon use, etc.

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to preventing Veteran suicide. If you notice someone on social media exhibiting signs of a potential crisis, don’t wait for somebody else to take action. Follow these steps:

1. Contact the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 and Press 1. Do this regardless of whether there is an immediate threat of suicide or harm to others.

2. Reply to the post with one of the safe messaging examples provided in this toolkit‚ which include information on the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

3. Report the post to the social media platform, using the resources provided in this toolkit.

Social Media Platform Resources

Reporting Suicidal Content on Facebook and X (Formerly Twitter)

Facebook – Report Suicidal Content: Fill out this form to report suicidal content found on Facebook.

X/Twitter – Report Self-Harm: Fill out this form to report suicidal content found on Twitter.

Additional Suicide Prevention Resources

Veterans Crisis Line: If you or someone you know is in crisis, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders. Contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at, or send a text message to 838255.

#BeThere: These tips and tools can help you show your support for Veteran friends and family members and start the conversation about suicide prevention.

Coaching Into Care: Coaching Into Care is a national telephone service from VA that aims to educate, support, and empower family members and friends who are seeking care or services for a Veteran.

Make the Connection: is an online VA resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.

PsychArmor S.A.V.E Training: This training is designed to help anyone who interacts with Veterans learn to identify the Signs of suicide, Ask questions, Validate the Veteran’s experience, and Escort the Veteran to care and Expedite treatment.

VA Resource Locator: Hosted by the Veterans Crisis Line, the resource locator connects you with local support available through VA, the National Resource Directory, and behavioral health treatment services from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Action Alliance Framework for Successful Messaging: This framework helps people develop messages about suicide prevention that are strategic, safe, and positive and that make use of relevant guidelines and best practices.

If you are currently experiencing a mental health emergency, please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. You can contact the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 (press 1 for veterans), text 838255, or go to for live chat and resources.