22 U.S. military veterans a day committed suicide in calendar year 2010.
That’s the shocking finding in a 2012 report on suicide data by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Authored by Janet Kemp, RN & PhD, and epidemiologist Robert Bossarte, PhD, the VA study used data collected from 21 states. The study’s other findings include:
- Suicide rates among veterans in the United States increased since 2007, by about 20%. Whereas the percentage of all suicides identified as Veteran declined between the years 1999-2003 and remained comparatively constant after 2003, beginning in 2007 the number of deaths by suicide increased.
- A majority of Veteran suicides are among those aged 50 years and older. Veterans who commit suicide are older than non-military Americans who commit suicide. More than 69% of all Veteran suicides were among those aged 50 years and older, compared to approximately 37% among those who were not identified as Veterans.
- Vets aged 50-59 years are a high suicide risk group.
- Veterans who died from suicide were more likely to be married, widowed, or divorced.
- The majority of nonfatal suicide events were the result of an overdose or intentional poisoning. Nearly 11% of non-fatal attempts were made with a firearm.
- The rate of suicide has increased not just among military vets, but in America in general.
If you’re a veteran or you know a veteran who is suicidal, help is available!
Call the Veterans Crisis National Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK); push “1” for Veteran services. The Veteran Crisis Line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained VA employees with backgrounds in mental health services.
H/t CBS DC and FOTM’s josephbc69