Our society faces an invisible epidemic, one which most Americans are virtually unaware. Each day, more and more veterans consider taking their own lives. Their internal struggle is hidden. They battle quietly against depressions, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety, all products of their service to our country. Some of them take their own life. And when they do, the lives of those that knew them become irrevocably changed. Survivors of suicide- whether parents, siblings, children, or friends- often blame themselves for not noticing their pain, not seeing beneath the strong front that they put on to face the world. And suicide is contagious, with every life lost the thought of suicide buries itself in another’s mind, often without that person even being aware.
Their deaths are tragic but preventable. It is the responsibility of all of us to step up and educate ourselves on how to recognize the signs of someone struggling. Identifying the symptoms early allows us to protect the same men and women who were willing to give their lives protecting us. Often, simple gestures- a kind word, or an offer of support- can make all the difference. It all it took was a smile to save a life, would you give it?
One’s Too Many is dedicated to the prevention of veteran suicide. We seek to combat this terrible tragedy by raising awareness and providing local support networks for veterans and service members. And we’d like you to help.