22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day but There Is Still Hope

Stats 3

military manA new study has found that an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day, representing a 20 percent jump since 2007. More than two-thirds of the vets who commit suicide are 50 or older, debunking any assumption that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are solely responsible for the increase.

While the number is in and of itself depressing -- 22 a day -- it does, in fact, have a silver lining.

First of all, the notion that there is some sort of veteran suicide epidemic is not true. The Washington Post reports that suicides across all categories are up; therefore, an increase in vet suicides is not surprising. They go on to say that the percentage of vets who take their own lives versus the national percentage has actually decreased since 1999.

That said, the suicide rate among vets is still three times the national average, and it's clear that something has to be done.

Which is why the information that there are 22 vets a day who take their own lives is important. For so long (and for whatever reason), the VA has done very little to monitor, let alone address and improve, the mental health and well-being of the men and women who served this country.

Perhaps this shockingly high number will spur change. There are already many resources for military men, woman, and families who are coping with PTSD, and those outlets, and hopefully the many more still to come, will result in fewer veteran suicides.

With the largest defense budget in the world, there should be more allocated to studies, programs, and results-driven organizations that aim to lower the suicide rate among military men and women. At this point, we're simply running out of excuses.

What do you think?


Photo via NYCmarines/Flickr

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tuffy... tuffymama

I THINK that our men and women serving our country are exposed to serious toxins in addition to the atrocities they witness and are ordered to perpetrate. It cannot be easy in the slightest to give your life over to the service of country, and I'm sure that has to take at least a small toll on the psyche. And why are they fighting and dying? For what? (And don't even get me started on the godforsaken Mali crap.) And hell no, there isn't enoug help or the right kind of help for these patriots. DH is a veteran and this is a personal cause for us. I could go on all day on what ISN'T being done and what SHOULD.

bleed... bleedingheart8D

Tuffymama, I am right there with you. My late husband was active duty when he passed away this past summer and I very much feel his death was directly affected by his time over there fighting. 

Melan... MelanieJK

We need to start proactively identifying the mental injuries before they become complicated by other problems like drugs,  alcohol,  family issues,   etc.     We don't know how to effectively address these complicating issues in people who aren't vets so prevention is the best hope.    

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