Call centers, service programs offer mental health support to veterans, families in crisis

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Since 9/11, the Costs of War Project at Brown University estimates 30,177 active military and veterans have died by suicide. In the same timeframe, 7,057 active duty personnel have been killed in military operations.

Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Mead, 32, formerly of Johnson City, died by suicide in 2014. His family shared their story with the Press & Sun-Bulletin/pressconnects.com and hope to raise awareness about suicide risks among military service members and support mental health resources for members of the military.

Although some people decide to commit suicide without giving any warning, the Department of Veterans Affairs highlights the following changes in behavior as red flags or warning signs:

  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings.
  • Intense anger and irritability.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors without thinking of the potential consequences.
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use.
  • Withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Talking about ending their life.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and loss of purpose (“no reason to live”), which may not be noticeable by outsiders.

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Service members and veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide and those who know a service member or veteran in crisis can find support at the following: