Breaking the Stigma: How to Communicate and Write about Veteran Suicide

Breaking the Stigma: How to Communicate and Write about Veteran Suicide

Tools for Effective Communication: VA’s Guide on Writing About Veteran Suicide

As a writer for the Once a Soldier charity, we recognize the importance of advocating for mental health support for our military veterans. One of the most pressing concerns is veteran suicide, which has been on the rise in recent years. It is a complex issue that needs to be handled with utmost sensitivity and understanding. That’s why we highly recommend the VA’s guide, “How to Communicate and Write About Veteran Suicide,” which provides comprehensive resources on the topic.

This guide is not just for journalists and writers but for everyone who wants to communicate effectively about this issue. It is designed to help individuals understand the complexities of veteran suicide, provide guidelines for safe communication, and highlight resources for help and support. It is important to note that the VA relied on a Reporting on Suicide’s guide “Best Practices and Recommendations
for Reporting on Suicide” for some of their content.

One of the most critical aspects of the guide is how it emphasizes the importance of using appropriate language when discussing veteran suicide. Words like “committed suicide” or “successful suicide” can have a negative impact and contribute to the stigma around mental health. Instead, the guide suggests using “died by suicide” or “completed suicide,” which not only reduces the stigma but also humanizes the individual and acknowledges their struggle.

Raising Awareness: A Comprehensive Guide on Talking about Veteran Suicide

The guide also provides resources for safe communication, including information on how to approach someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts and how to ask sensitive questions without causing distress. It also provides suggestions on how to report on a suicide-related incident without glamorizing or sensationalizing it.

Additionally, the VA guide offers resources for support and intervention, such as the Veterans Crisis Line and local mental health services. It also highlights the importance of self-care for those who may be affected by the issue, including journalists and writers who cover these topics.

At Once a Soldier, we believe in using our platform to raise awareness and advocate for mental health support for veterans. By sharing the VA’s guide on “How to Communicate and Write About Veteran Suicide,” we hope to promote safe and effective communication about this complex issue.

In conclusion, the VA’s guide is an excellent resource for everyone, not just writers and journalists. It offers comprehensive information on how to communicate safely and effectively about veteran suicide, emphasizes the importance of appropriate language, and provides resources for help and support. By following these guidelines, we can help break the stigma around mental health and raise awareness about the critical issue of veteran suicide.

Caregiver Resource Directory

Caregiver Resource Directory

Help for Caregivers of Wounded, Ill, or Injured Service Members and Veterans

Issued by the Department of Defense

Cover topics from medical and mental health care, veteran suicide help to legal help to getting your car modified, the Caregiver Resource Directory will get you on the right path. Sourced by the Department of Defense (DoD) in their Warrior Care section, it holds what are called Veteran  Service Organizations. VSOs are not part of VA. VSOs are recognized national and state organizations that help veterans and their families with their claims. These services are provided free of charge. Some VSOs can help you with questions about your VA claims. They can also act on your behalf regarding your claim with the VA.

Once a Soldier has been recognzed by the DoD as an official VSO, and we will be added up their next edition. We are to be the only nonprofit under the heading of Post-vention.

What Veteran Caregivers Need to Know about the Caregiver Resource Directory

The Caregiver Resource Directory includes the most commonly referenced resources, organizations, agencies, and programs that provide support to the caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members.

The concept of the Caregiver Resource Directory is to connect communities with caregivers, building public awareness and support for caregivers.

The resources, organizations, agencies, and programs included in the Caregiver Resource Directory have been reviewed and vetted in accordance with the National Resource Directory’s participation policy, which can be found at

No product endorsements or preferential treatment is given to any organization, agency, or program that is listed in the Caregiver Resource Directory. This Caregiver Resource Directory is a dynamic directory that will be refined on a regular basis.


Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.