Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs release findings of a new report that found that the suicide rate for male veterans between the ages of 18 to 29 had substantially increased from 2009 to 2011, up about 44 percent.
The study did not reveal definitive reasons for the increase. Jan Kemp, the VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention, suggested that the pressures of leaving military careers, readjusting to civilian life and combat injuries like PTSD all play a part.
Further information found that there was a slight decrease in suicides among older veterans. Female veterans saw an increase of 11 percent over the same timeframe. The suicide rates for veterans remains higher than those who are not veterans. However, the national rates of suicide remained steady or have slightly increased, thus this issue is not just a military or veteran one.
One good piece of information is that treatment from a VA medical facility may help. The problem though, especially among the younger veteran demographic, is that there is still a stigma associated with mental health problems.
Veterans Help Group urges you or any veteran in need of help to call the Veterans Crisis Hotline at (855) 855-8992 and Press 1, text 838255 or visit veteranscrisisline.net.