Suicide Prevention for Caregivers


September 10, 2022

The VA Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Caregivers provides caregivers with information about suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment, as well as self-care resources. It also lists resources for Veterans and military families. While this toolkit was produced by the VA it contains helpful information for everyone. 

Dear Caregiver,

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) understands that caregivers are our partners in providing care to our nation’s Veterans. We also know that it can be challenging to manage both the care of a Veteran and the everyday responsibilities of work and family. We are grateful for the role you play, and we are here to support you.

We recognize that you are the hidden heroes at home, guiding our nation’s Veterans through their journeys to healthy, fulfilling lives and helping them cope with both visible and invisible injuries. Invisible injuries, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, can cause emotional distress, feelings of loneliness, and thoughts of suicide. These injuries may also be harder to recognize than visible injuries. As a caregiver to a Veteran, you may be the first to notice the signs of these invisible injuries. You may also be the first to notice any problems with alcohol or substance use.

The VA Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Caregivers includes important information about suicide

prevention, as well as evidence-based mental health and substance use disorder treatments that can This toolkit also offers resources that anyone can access in

the event of a crisis. and to read more about evidence-based treatments.

We also want to help you take care of yourself. Though you may be focused on caring for a Veteran, your own well-being is equally important. This toolkit equips you with information on self-care so that you can obtain additional support when you need it—helping you remain healthy and strong as you provide care.

The responsibility of caring for a Veteran does not have to be yours alone. The VA Caregiver Support Program provides support and services, including skill-building courses, peer mentoring, coaching, and other resources. A Caregiver Support Program team is available at every VA medical center throughout the nation to provide support to you in your role.

Mental health, treatment of substance use disorders, and suicide prevention are top priorities at VA. Ensuring that you have the resources you need to help the Veterans in your care while maintaining your own well-being is important to us.

We thank you for all you do every day, and we hope that these resources are helpful to you and the Veteran in your care.


Matthew A. Miller, Ph.D., M.P.H. Director, Suicide Prevention VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Colleen Richardson, Psy.D., Executive Director, Caregiver Support Program Patient Care Services

Download the Toolkit

Source: US Department of Veteran Affairs

We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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