Resources:

Military Help Line

Crisis Text Line

The National Center for PTSD

Conversation Tips & Tricks:

  • You first. These conversations carry a lot of weight and you aren’t expected to be an expert. If you aren’t comfortable talking with someone about their trauma or PTSD, it’s ok to use the following language to offer resources and then get the conversation back on topic.

    • “You were brave to share what you’re going through with me. I’m here for you. I also want to make sure you have access to resources that may have more expertise. Would you allow me to share a few resources that might be helpful?”

    • “I’m hearing how hard this has been. Those feelings are valid and I want to help get the support you need, but I might not be the best person to help. Can I share a few resources with you?”

  • Be a good listener. Allow this person the space they need to share and process how they are feeling.

    • “I’m here for you. Whatever you are feeling, and whenever you are feeling it, it’s okay.”

  • Ask about suicide. If you suspect someone with PTSD is thinking about suicide, don’t be afraid to ask. Refer to the suicide tipsheet for further guidance.

    • “It sounds like you’re feeling out of control. Sometimes when people feel that way they have thoughts of ending their life. Have you experienced any of those thoughts?”

  • Offer resources. It’s important to connect with professionals or helplines who are able to support people dealing with trauma or PTSD. Utilize one or more of the above resources to ensure folks get a higher level of care when needed.

    • “You were brave to share what’s been going on with me. I’m here for you. I also want to make sure you have access to resources that may have more expertise in connecting you with help. Would you allow me to share a few resources that might be helpful?”

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