22 military veterans a day commit suicide

Statue of Liberty in tears

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.

military vets suicides

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

~Eowyn

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8 responses to “22 military veterans a day commit suicide

  1. Too sad for words, but action is needed to diminish this as much as possible. To abandon men and women who already gave more than the rest of us ever will is simply unacceptable.

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  2. This situation is really a Catch 22. We have seen that our government when it becomes aware that a person is having mental issues–takes immediate steps to curtail that persons personal liberty. In my mind, I have a dilemma, which is worse, being suicidal, or becoming a “ward of our government for the rest of your life.” I don’t pretend to have the answer. I just know that for those who have lost their liberties for the rest of their lives,and must step to the tune of their governmental oversee-er must experience additional exquisite pain at the lost of their personal freedom.

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    • That’s why people, especially military folk, don’t “seek help”… it’s bad enough having a problem, but to lose your career, right to vote or own a weapon, and freedom to do what you want for yourself on top of that? Many would rather die first.

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    • What are you talking about? People don’t lose their personal liberties for life or become a ward of the government when they are suicidal. Most in- patent facilities discharge people as soon as they can once they are stabilized. Unfortunately that doesn’t last. But they can all still vote and own a gun etc.

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  3. I ‘hate’ to sound radical but if they wanted to do themselves in so badly
    they could go to Syria and die fighting to save Christians. Suicide is a waste and a selfish act but not if you take some enemies of freedom or evil doers with you.

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  4. We should pray for these individuals with love, compassion and mercy. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this most meaningful post.

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