Suicide Rates Alarming Among Veterans

Suicide Rates Alarming Among Veterans

( – According to recent data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 17 military members commit suicide each day in the United States. What is causing our military members to take their own lives at such an alarming rate?

PTSD, Depression and Anxiety

US Army veteran Tom Voss has a theory about why the suicide rates among military members and veterans continue to rise. Voss, who co-authored the book “Where War Ends: A Combat Veteran’s 2,700-Mile Journey to Heal,” recently appeared on Fox News to talk about the issue.

During his interview, Voss said, when you’re in the military, you’re “trained in the infantry to move through challenges without asking for help. When I got out of the military, that is what I tried to do.” The Army veteran believes that too many military members are trying to handle PTSD, depression and anxiety on their own.

These types of battles are best fought with the assistance of others.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Statistics from the National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report for 2019 back up Voss’ theory.

The most recent statistics, which extend up to 2017, show that 58.7% of veterans who used the Veterans Health Administration were diagnosed with substance abuse or a mental health disorder. For women, the statistics are even worse. Female veterans are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than non-veterans.

Thankfully, our president is set on doing something about this problem.

Last year, President Trump started the PREVENTS Initiative, which is aimed at helping states receive the tools and resources required to help prevent veteran suicides. Data for this new initiative won’t be available for another year, but we are praying to see some positive outcomes.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach the National Veterans Affairs Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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