On May 10th, Facebook unveiled its military crisis content resource. Working in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Blue Star Families, Facebook developed this resource for active duty service members, veterans, and their families. Due to the military lifestyle families, service members, and veterans face unique stressors and difficulties. Sometimes these stressors and difficulties can become overwhelming and bring crisis. In crisis situations, help is needed immediately.
If a threat or mention of suicide appears on an individual’s Facebook page, users can “flag” that Facebook page. There is an option to indicate that a flagged user is a part of the military community. When identified as an active duty service member, veteran, or family member, Facebook sends an immediate message to the Veterans Crisis Line or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline with contact information of the person in distress. The Veterans Crisis Line and National Suicide Prevention Hotline can respond over the phone, in an online chat, or in a text message. The page will also urge the concerned parties to contact law enforcement to ensure they know they will be responding to a member of the military community in order to tailor their response.
Suicide among these populations has been on the rise after 11 years of war. Preventing suicide means getting help when things become too much and identifying key behaviors in others that may be at risk.
For simple things you can do to manage stress, please visit our Caring for Yourself page. If you feel like military life is becoming too much for you, please see the recommended resources our Mental Health Services and Centers page.