Service Members, Veterans and their Families
Service members, veterans and their families (SMVF) face unique mental health challenges than other populations.
According to a study conducted in 2014, 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition.
Since 2001, more than 2.6 million Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan (Institute of Medicine., 2021).
Over 1.1 million spouses, parents, and friends are caring for injured and disabled veterans who have served since September 11, 2001 (Ramchand et al., 2014).
It's important to address mental health and substance use concerns among active and retired service members, as well as the health of their families and caregivers.
Stay in the Fight
Veterans are at 50% higher risk of suicide than their peers who have not served. You are important. You matter. Stay in the fight.
ODMHSAS partners with a variety of organizations dedicated to helping veterans and their families through life challenges and transitioning from active military service back to civilian life, and beyond.
- I Need Help
- I Want to Help
- Get Involved
Veterans Crisis Line
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, anonymous, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.
A trained responder will answer your call. The responder will ask you a few questions, such as whether you or the Veteran or Service member you’re concerned about may be in immediate danger or at risk for suicide. You will decide what to share about yourself and what you want to talk about.
988 Mental Health Lifeline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
OKVALOR - Oklahoma Veterans Assistance Locator
OKVALOR is the Oklahoma Veterans Assistance Locator. Service members, veterans and their families can use this tool to locate nearby community-based resources and services, including mental health resources.
OKVALOR is provided free of charge by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.
Make the Connection
No matter when, where, or how you served, or what you’ve experienced in military or civilian life, you may be facing challenges that affect your health, relationships, and life. Whether your military role ended two decades ago or two days ago, you share with Veterans everywhere the common bonds of duty, honor, and service to our nation. Every day, Veterans connect with resources and support to manage and confront the issues they may have and find solutions for improving their lives.
Make The Connection collects videos and resources from veterans to help others along the way toward recovery. Watch Veterans and their family members share real stories of strength and recovery, find useful information and local mental health resources, and explore ways to show your support.
Know the Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Know The Signs
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
SMVF Events with Eagle OPS
As someone in the SMVF community, you can play a role in helping your fellow community members by reaching out and talking to them about suicide. Asking and listening is the first step in suicide prevention. If someone you know shows warning signs for suicide, be direct. Tell them it's okay to talk about suicidal feelings. Practice active listening techniques and let them talk without judgement.
Help protect your fellow service members and veterans just like you would on the battlefield. One way to help is through Eagle OPS. Eagle OPS is committed to providing opportunities for veterans, veteran families and patriots to build relationships through social activities, fitness and volunteerism. Through these relationships, Eagle OPS is connecting veterans to resources and assisting in a healthy transition home.
Find Support Near You
Eagle OPS Battle Buddy Material
Cohen Veterans Network
Cohen Veterans Network was created for the sole purpose of treating all post-9/11 veterans and family members to high-quality mental health care by removing barriers to care.
Cohen Military Family Clinics provide specialized therapy for depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other transitional challenges. Cohen Clinics also provide marriage counseling, relationship counseling and help with children’s behavioral issues to support the entire military family.
Open Access Specialist