VA Releases Report on Current Assessment of Veteran Suicide Rates
Suicide is one of the leading causes of veteran deaths, with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimating 20 veterans die from suicide each day. Veteran suicide is a growing problem, one the VA is eager to resolve as quickly as possible. A recent study of more than 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014 revealed some sobering statistics about veteran suicide rates:
- The majority of veterans (65 percent) who died from suicide were 50 years of age or older.
- Veterans account for 18 percent of all suicides in the U.S.
- Since 2001, veteran suicides have increased by 32 percent, nine percent more than adult civilians in the same timeframe.
- The suicide risk for veterans is 21 percent greater than that of adult civilians.
- Veterans who do not use VA services are more likely to commit suicide than veterans who seek help from the VA.
While these statistics paint a dark picture of the health of our veterans, there are some positives coming from the study. In 2010, veterans accounted for 22 percent of all U.S. suicides; since then, veteran suicide rates have decreased to 18 percent. VA services also seem to have a positive impact on preventing suicide among veterans.
However, the VA will not be satisfied until veteran suicides become a thing of the past. To aid in reducing these statistics, the VA announced the following courses of action:
- Ensuring immediate access to care for veterans with urgent mental health needs
- Expanding the telehealth systems with four new regional terminals for mental health teleconferencing
- Adding 60 new crisis intervention responders to the Veterans Crisis Line
- Collaborating with community mental health assistance programs
- Strengthening inter-agency and public-private partnerships involved in suicide prevention
The Disability Help Group Supports Veterans — Get Help Now
Many veterans suffer from depression and mental health issues due to combat injuries and service-related conditions. If your service-related illnesses or injuries are making it impossible for you to earn an income, we can help. The Disability Help Group can help you get the disability benefits you need to support yourself and your family.
Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!