In recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (SPM) the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) created a 2023 Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Toolkit in support of the larger Department of Defense (DOD) suicide prevention campaign Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach. The toolkit is a collection of campaign tools, resources, and graphics for use in all outreach efforts in September and all year. A comprehensive communication campaign is created when the same messaging and resources are used at the local and national levels.

The SPM Outreach Toolkit consists of:

Social Media Content: posts, story graphics, photo frame, banners
Sample Language Tools: public service announcement (PSA), blog, press release
Campaign Tools: pledge, poster, Connect to Protect fact sheet, campaign-style sheet, virtual background
Guides: Leaders Safe Messaging Guide, Means Safety for Military Service Members and Their Families, Your Words Matter Fact Sheet

Who may use the kit:

This toolkit is designed for organizations and communities that will be creating and promoting a SPM campaign. When the SPM campaign promoted across the Services is designed around one message, the message is more likely to resonate. The toolkit is a framework and consists of samples for communities to build on or even use as inspiration for additional creative ideas.

How to use the kit:

The toolkit provides materials to aid in planning an SPM campaign for local installations and the community. Follow the links for the items in the toolkit. Below is a table of the materials.

Promote and protect:

We encourage everyone to promote the campaign Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach. Use the toolkit as is or use it as a jumping-off point. The goal is a cohesive campaign message to create awareness. If you're communicating on social media, use the following hashtags to join the conversation: #ConnectToProtect, #SPM23, and #BeThere. Don’t forget to tag us!



Social Media Content

Social Media Post Calendar:
A calendar of suggested campaign posts for
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Social Media Story Graphics:
Ready to use graphics for your own social media story.

SPM Day 2023


SPM Week 2023


SPM Month 2023
Facebook Post Graphics: Include this
graphic with your social media posts.


  SPM Month 2023

Facebook Photo Frame:
Use this frame on Facebook and insert your own photo.


Facebook Banner: Promote
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
with a visual of the Connect to Protect Message.
Insert your own message above the banner.

Twitter Banner: The banner is available using
Twitter graphic requirements.
Connect to Protect


SPM Sample Language Documents

Sample PSA:
Announcement with language
that highlights the purpose of
Connect to Protect: Support is
within Reach. Use the language in
whole or in part for installation
spokespeople. For release to local media.


Connect to Protect
Sample Press Release: A press release
recommended campaign language. Use
in whole or in part. It has space for a
localized message. For release to local

Sample Blog: Use recommended
campaign language and add individual

Connections Save Lives


SPM Campaign Tools

Virtual Background:
Use SPM Background during virtual
meetings. Direction on how to use
the background: Zoom and Teams.


Virtual Background
Campaign Style Sheet:
A sheet with the font and color palette
for the Connect to Protect campaign.
Includes logos in various forms and
color scales.


Connect to Protect Fact

Explains what connectedness
 means and the purpose of campaign.
Great reference tool to get a feeling
about messaging.

Connection Matter

SPM Posters (2 sizes):
Motivational message of campaign
with resources listed. Print out to
hang in communal areas and offices.

"8.5 x 14"

SPM Awareness Month
"8.5 x 11"
SPM Pledge:
Asks people to think about and dedicate
themselves to suicide prevention
behaviors and look out for their



SPM Guides

Leaders Safe Messaging

A guide for military and
community leaders to help
reduce suicide risk, including
how to use inclusive language
that encourages help-
seeking behavior.


Lethal Means Safety Guide for
Military Service Members
and Their Families:

This guide provides the military
community with ways to control
and secure lethal means safety
and explains its importance.

Your Words Matter Fact Sheet:
The importance of using inclusive
language is one of the important
components of suicide prevention.
This sheet explains to people how
and why using the words is
important.  It also includes examples.

Your words matter


Veteran/Military Crisis Line

The Defense Suicide Prevention Office does not provide crisis services. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Veteran/Military Crisis Line for immediate assistance.

Military OneSource

DSPO Links

DSPO Social Media


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