Face the Fight logo

Find Help for
Yourself & Others

If you or someone you know is struggling upon returning home and needs immediate, professional help–call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline and press 1 for veteran support or visit the website to talk with a VA responder.

Together, we can face the fight against veteran suicide.

Join the Fight

Stanley Sanders

U.S. Navy | Retired

Stan was a Yeoman Petty Officer 2nd Class in the Navy, serving from ’84 to ’91. In 2000, he became a police officer and served there for 18 years.

He was working in 2017 when he received a call for a 17-year-old who had laid down in front of a nearby train and died by suicide. Stan, himself, had to break the horrifying news to the boy’s parents which left him with nightmares, pain, and a bottle to numb it all.

Even with his loving wife Britton and 4 kids at home, Stan could only think of one way to make this constant pain go away. “Nothing about suicide really makes sense. But when you’re in that frame of mind, it seems to make perfect sense.” He says, “I told her, “I wasn’t gonna make it’ and she drove me right to the emergency room, where my battle really began.”

“To Face the Fight means not giving up hope… and to keep finding out that you’re worth it.”

His wife, Britton, thinks of his ability to ask for help as a sign of strength. She says, “mental health should not have the stigma it has around it because that’s what’s killing people.” Veterans and the general public shouldn’t have to get to the point where they attempt to die by suicide before getting help. “We need to create a space where people feel safe to come out and ask for help before. Even if it’s not the crisis lines, but just telling a friend,” Britton explains.

Stan went to a psychological hospital and Britton supported him on his road to recovery. He says, “To Face the Fight means not giving up hope…and to keep finding out that you’re worth it.”

After being in horse therapy programs, Stan ended up working with Blackhorse for Heroes to help other veterans who are undergoing a mental health crisis. “We’re veterans, we fight and we never stop. But you know, this battle against our own demons, we don’t have to be alone in it.”

“I don’t think anything is more important to me than preventing veteran suicide and making sure they know they’re important.”

Facing the Facts

57%

The veteran suicide rate is 57% higher than the national average.

With our collective help, they won’t face this fight alone.

Tweet

120K+

Over 120,000 veterans have died by suicide since 2001.

We seek to create a network of support for veterans to thrive.

Tweet

50%

Over half of those who die by suicide do not have a known mental illness.

We are fighting to reach more veterans every single day.

Tweet

#2

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among post 9/11 veterans.

We are combating this by building a community of hope.

Tweet

2x

Suicide rates for male veterans between 18-34 years old nearly doubled since 2006.

We are building support systems to drastically reduce this number.

Tweet

1.5x

The veteran suicide rate is currently 1.5 times the rate of the general population.

We are here to help them face the fight together.

Tweet
Melissa Lopez — Face the Fight — Background Image

Melissa Lopez

U.S. Army Reserves | Active

Going on 17 years, Melissa’s military service has included two deployments to Iraq where she fought for her country.

She didn’t face depression or thoughts of suicide right after coming home, the feelings took time to develop as coping mechanisms failed or faded away. She felt like she didn’t have an official support system to turn to.

So, she started within — as an advocate for herself. But after she saw what happened to her family in the wake of her sister’s death by suicide, she knew she had to be open for help.

She wasn’t herself. Not laughing or engaging, feeling exhausted, letting details slip and putting herself in situations where she could seem fine.

“Veteran suicide can happen to anybody, to the happiest person in the room,” she says.

Melissa’s advice: If you find yourself deep into suicidal thoughts, call the 988 hotline. Reach out to leadership. Talk to friends; people who’ve gone through it. You’ll be surprised. There is no shame. You’re not crazy.

Today, Melissa works with an understanding therapist. She’s opened up to her friends and family. She’s found a support-person who checks in when she acts out of character or seems to be having a hard time.

“The colors come back slowly,” she says. But with the courage to ask for help — and continuing to ask for help — there is hope in the fight. “And it’s worth it. It’s worth holding on for.”

Committed to Veterans

Founded by USAA, Face the Fight is a coalition of corporations, foundations, nonprofit and veteran-focused organizations joined together to raise awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention. Our mission is to break the stigmas surrounding suicide in order to open conversation and support around the topic. Facing the reality of veteran suicide is a struggle. But when people face this fight together there is hope.

Join the Fight

Face The Fight Merchandise

Show Your Support

Shop Now
Román Baca — Face the Fight — Background Image

Román Baca

U.S. Marine Corps | Veteran

Before becoming a Marine, achieving the rank of sergeant, and deploying to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005 — Román was a dancer.

“I wanted to help people, I wanted to contribute to something larger than myself. So, I joined the Marine Corps.”

It wasn’t until he returned home that he realized the toll that contribution had taken. He knew he’d stepped away from the arts, from his passion. But it was one conversation with the woman who ultimately became his wife that opened his eyes to the impact his experiences had on him.

“She said that the person in front of her was angry, depressed, anxious — and mean. She said people were afraid of me. And that wasn’t the person I wanted to be.”

Román knew there was this thing aching to come out of him. Something that only he could tell the world. So, he started a dance company that put tales of war and survivorship on the stage.

“We started to tell people about the experiences that we’d had in Iraq, on patrol, working amongst locals. We told about the war we saw, the crazy things that happened — that didn’t look like the war that was on television, or on the radio or in newspapers — to see if we could make sense of them.”

Through dance, Román has shared the stories of veteran after veteran who died by suicide — what he calls a horrible epidemic. He even helped a member of his troop choreograph the story of her brother, who died by suicide three days before he was set to leave Afghanistan for the second time. The piece was performed in Arlington National Cemetery, just steps from his grave.

“Having lost so many friends to suicide has made my personal mission stronger,” he says. “It takes bravery and courage to face the fight. Exposing their personal stories and who they are is extremely scary. I’ve seen people do a lot of brave things. But I haven’t seen anything as brave as that.”

In this journey, the hardest thing for Román has been to share his own story.

“It’s hard to ask for help, to lean on others and to explain why you feel the way you do. But you are not alone. There are people around you that care about you. There are people around who will listen. It’s hard. But you have to start talking.”

Resources

Are you or is someone you know at risk? Are you interested in training in suicide prevention? These resources can help all of us face the fight against veteran suicide.

Get Help in Crisis

Veteran Crisis Line

If you need help, call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 988 then press 1 for 24/7 confidential crisis support for veterans and their loved ones.

Get Trained

Training and Resource Center

Find suicide prevention training and resources for organizations and individuals, all selected by Face the Fight academic partner UT Health San Antonio.

Get Peer-Support

Vets4Warriors

Peer Support Specialists are available live, 24/7 year-round to connect with those who may need help and offering proven resources.

Objective Zero

Objective Zero Foundation uses mobile and web app technology to connect the military and veteran to peer support, wellness activities, and mental health resources.

Get Mental Health Treatment

VA Resources

Are you looking for clinical care or counseling? Assistance with benefits? No matter what you’re experiencing, connect to resources and support systems to help.

Stop Soldier Suicide

Get personalized, confidential, no-cost, suicide-specific care and intervention for veterans and service members of all branches, regardless of discharge status.

The Headstrong Project

Get confidential, barrier-free, and stigma-free PTSD and mental health treatment for veterans, service members, and families connected to their care.

Cohen Veteran Network

Serves post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families through a nationwide system of outpatient mental health clinics providing evidenced-based treatments.

Get Military Transition Support

DoD Transition Assistance Program

This outcome-based statutory program bolsters opportunities, services, tools and training to prepare you and your family for your military-to-civilian transition and new post-military goals.

Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP)

Supporting and encouraging military spouses throughout their service member’s time in the military and help planning and preparing for the transition out of the military.

Get Career Support

Education and Training

VA education benefits help veterans, service members, and their qualified family members with needs like paying college tuition, finding the right school or training program, and getting career counseling.

Employment Services

Get career and employment assistance. VA employment services offers the help you need to build your career and find the opportunities that are right for you.

Work-Related Problems

Make the Connection helps educate about challenges related to jobs and employment, treatment options, self-help tools, and resources to help you overcome work-related issues.

USAA Educational Foundation

Provides free resources to help military members and veterans make smart financial decisions across every stage of life — from making a budget to managing debt.

Call of Duty Endowment

Helps veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace.

Get Financial Resources

USAA Educational Foundation

Looking for an answer to a specific personal finance question or a whole program to get out of debt? The USAA Educational Foundation offers free financial education content tailored to the needs of the military.

Military Aid and Relief Societies

If you are active duty service member, an activated national guardsman, reservist or an immediate family member of one, you are eligible to receive financial assistance.

Get Connected

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The Foundation adopts a comprehensive approach in its advocacy, working with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit and faith communities to recognize military caregivers’ service and promote their well-being.

Military Child Education Coalition

Supporting all military-connected children by educating, advocating, and collaborating to resolve education challenges associated with the military lifestyle.

Blue Star Families

Aims to strengthen and connect military and veteran families across the United States with their communities through various programs and initiatives that provide support and resources.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

Provides care and comprehensive resources to those grieving the death of a military or veteran loved one. Services include peer based emotional support, casework assistance, suicide prevention, and more.

Veteran Spouse Network

Peer programs offer educational, social, and referral support tailored to the needs of military and veteran spouses to facilitate spouse, veteran, and family well-being.

Get Helpful Mobile Apps

Make the Connection

Connect with Stories of Help and Hope. Veterans and their loved ones talk about their experiences, challenges, and recovery through videos, information, and resources.

Virtual Hope Box

Used by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment and helps with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking.

Columbia Suicide Screening

This app asks a simple series of questions that anyone can use anywhere in the world to help prevent suicide.

Safety Plan

Identifies suicide warning signs, coping strategies, and family members/friends who are available to help, as well as finds professional help and resources to make your environment safe from anything that can be used for harm.

PTSD Coach

Designed for veterans experiencing symptoms of PTSD to view educational resources, find support and professional care, take self-assessments, and use our tools to manage daily stress.

Get Involved

The Mission Continues

This is a national veteran-serving organization that creates opportunities for veterans to continue their service and leadership in communities.

Team Red White and Blue

Forging the leading wellness community for veterans where you can work out on your time, find your squad, attend in-person events, and more.

Travis Manion Foundation

We empower veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character for future generations. Through character-driven programming, we show them how to strengthen it, to reshape it, to push our communities to be better versions of ourselves.

Wounded Warrior Project

Every warrior has a next mission. We know that the transition to civilian life is a journey. We want to honor and foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our Nation’s history.

American Corporate Partners

ACP is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans and active-duty spouses find their next careers through one-on-one mentoring, networking, and online career advice.

Hire Heroes USA

We help U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses find new careers. Through personalized service and support, we help veterans and military spouses get hired, and we help companies hire and retain them.

Team Rubicon

We are a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises.

No one should face this fight alone

The Coalition Committed to the Fight

Face the Fight is a coalition of corporations, foundations, non-profit and veteran-focused organizations joined together to raise awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention.

Invite a coalition member to speak at your event or learn more about applying for a potential Face the Fight grant today.

Join the Coalition

Founding Members

Members

Achilles International Adaptive Sports Connection Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment America’s Vet Dogs America’s Warrior Partnership American Corporate Partners American Foundation for Suicide Prevention American Freedom Foundation American Legion American Psychological Association (APA) AMVETS Armed Services Arts Partnership Armed Services YMCA Association of Military Banks of America At Ease USA Bastion Community of Resilience Benevity Blue Star Families Bob Woodruff Foundation Camp Corral Candorful Caregivers on the Homefront Centerstone Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Cohen Veterans Bioscience Cohen Veterans Network Columbia Lighthouse Project Combined Arms Comcast NBCUniversal Crisis Text Line CVS Health Disabled American Veterans Duke University - Faqua School of Business, Veteran Transitions Research Lab Easterseals DC MD VA Elizabeth Dole Foundation Endeavors The ETS Sponsorship Program The Fire Watch Project, Inc. Fiserv Give an Hour Grey Team Guardian Revival The Headstrong Project Heroes to Heroes Foundation Hiring Our Heroes Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Mass General Hospital Program Hope For The Warriors Independence Fund IVMF Syracuse John Daly K9s For Warriors KPMG LifeAid Lockheed Martin Marine Raider Foundation Merging Vets and Players Mighty Oaks Foundation Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) Military Officers Association of America Military Times Military Women’s Memorial Foundation Minority Veterans of America Modern Warrior LIVE Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center Nation’s Finest National Association of Veterans Research & Education Foundations National Center for Healthy Veterans National Military Family Association (NMFA) National Veterans Memorial and Museum NineLine Veteran Services Objective Zero Operation Healing Forces Operation Stand Down Tennessee Oracle Health Our Military Kids Overwatch Project Paralyzed Veterans of America Patriots and Paws Paws and Stripes Philips The Pillar Foundation Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Project Sanctuary PsychArmor PTSD Foundation of America, Camp Hope Rally Point REBOOT Recovery Rebuilding Together Robert Irvine Foundation Save a Warrior SAVE22 SEAL Veterans Foundation Sheep Dog Impact Assistance SOF Mission Soldiers’ Angels Sound Off Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics at Centerstone Stop Soldier Suicide Student Veterans of America Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) TAPS TBI Warrior Foundation Team Red, White and Blue Team Rubicon Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative Trails of Purpose Travis Manion Foundation The Trevor Project TriWest Healthcare Alliance The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio The USAA Educational Foundation USAA Foundation Veteran Spouse Network Veterans Moving Forward Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans Yoga Project Vets4Warriors Walmart Warrior Life Fund Warrior Rising wear blue Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education With Honor Action Womens Veterans Interactive Foundation Wooden Boats for Veterans Foundation Wounded Warrior Project