We Serve


Suicide among Veterans is at a crisis level. Though we’ve come a long way in learning how to recognize the signs and what to do to help, we need to step up the effort to integrate suicide prevention practices within post-service culture, connect those in need to life-saving resources, and improve access to mental health care.

What We Do

The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation collaborates with the Ohio Army National Guard, the Ohio Governor’s Challenge Team, OhioCares, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and veteran-related community partners to help bridge the gap between individuals serving in the military and those having left military service, while striving to educate, advocate, and connect them with the necessary resources to facilitate their mental health needs.

By the Numbers


In 2021, there were 6,392 veteran suicides in the US, which is a 114 increase from the 2020 Report.


In 2021, 242 Ohio veterans died by suicide, and 108 were between the ages of 55-74.


In 2021, there were 6,042 suicide deaths among veteran men and 350 suicide deaths among veteran women.


Firearms are the primary lethal means for 65.3% of veteran suicides in Ohio, which is a 10.8% decrease from the 2020 Report.


In 2021, suicide was the 13th-leading cause of death for veterans overall, and the second-leading cause of death among veterans under age 45-years-old.


Suicide rates among male veterans aged 75-years-old and older decreased by 8.1% from 2020 to 2021, while rates for all other groups increased.

Risk Factors

  • Previous suicide attempt

  • History of depression and other mental illness

  • Serious illness such as chronic pain or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), service or non-service connected

  • Criminal/legal problems

  • Job/financial problems or loss

  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

  • Substance use

  • Social isolation

  • Loss of relationships

  • Sense of hopelessness

  • Recent separation from military service (ETS, medical, or retirement)

  • Stress related to OPTEMPO

  • Deployments during military service, e.g., Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

Warning Signs

  • Existing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD related to service (regardless of deployment status)

  • Expressing hopelessness, despair, anger, or rage

  • Appearing sad or depressed most of the time

  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep

  • Neglecting personal wellbeing

  • Not engaged during National Guard or Reserves (IDT/UTA/AT) training

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Losing interest in day-to-day activities

  • Frequent and dramatic mood changes

  • Expressing feelings of excessive guilt or shame

  • Feelings of failure or decreased performance at work, home, or other daily activities

  • Feeling like there’s no reason to live

  • Increased alcohol or substance use

  • Talking about death, saying goodbye, or giving away possessions

Support Resources

Life Side Ohio is a campaign of direct, suicide prevention outreach dedicated to the firearms community.

This campaign is sponsored by the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation