If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or visit VeteransCrisisLine.net

Toolkit “How-To” Guide

"Start the Conversation: New Tools for Veteran Suicide Prevention" is a comprehensive toolkit that includes information about common issues that many Veterans face. Learn how to customize the toolkit for the Veteran in your life.

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Download the "Start the Conversation" Fact Sheet

Use this brief fact sheet to learn more about starting the conversation.


Toolkit “How-To” Guide

Start the Conversation: New Tools for Veteran Suicide Prevention is a comprehensive toolkit that includes information about common issues that many Veterans face, as well as concrete steps to help you:

  • Talk to a Veteran about their emotional health, distress, or even thoughts of suicide
  • Identify factors that may increase a Veteran’s risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Recognize warning signs or “red flags” indicating that a Veteran may be in crisis and need support
  • Create a personalized plan to help a Veteran manage crises with a customizable Safety Planning Worksheet
  • Access resources for Veterans in need and those who care about them

The toolkit can be customized for the Veteran in your life and features information tailored to specific audiences and topics. 

To begin using the toolkit, click on either the “Create Your Own Toolkit” or “Explore the Toolkit Topics” buttons on the home page.   

  • If you select “Create Your Own Toolkit,” you will be taken to a screen that asks you to answer questions about the audience(s) and topic(s) you are interested in. Click on “Select Audiences” to see a drop-down menu that allows you to filter the content by the audience(s) you would like resources for.  To further refine your search, click on the “Select Topics” drop-down menu to choose the topics you are interested in.  You can choose to include as many audiences and/or topics as are relevant to your search.
  • If you select “Explore the Toolkit by Topics,” the home page will scroll down to provide you information about each of the individual topics within the toolkit. To access specific documents within each topic click the “Explore” button in the bottom left of the box.

At any point, you can return to the home page by clicking the “VA Suicide Prevention Resources” text at the top left of the screen. 

You can also choose to search by an individual topic or resource by clicking on the drop-down menus at the top right of any page within the toolkit. 

To search the toolkit, type any word or phrase into the “Search” box at the top right of the screen. 

Once you click on a specific resource, you can download the corresponding fact sheet by clicking the blue “Download” button in the center of the top of the page.