Mental health workers who work with soldiers and veterans believe those two groups run higher risks for suicide than the civilian population. They refer to their risk as “significantly greater” and stress the need to identify those in need of help as soon as possible. According to clinicians, help must include early detection of suicidal thoughts and ultimately prevention of the suicidal act itself.
Anywhere between 30,000 and 32,000 Americans take their own lives every year. This rate has remained essentially unchanged since 1950, despite many changes in the mental health field.
Approximately 1 in every 5 Americans who take their own lives is a veteran, which means 18 veterans kill themselves, on average, every day.
Active duty soldiers face a particularly lethal combination of stressors. Many find themselves with access to firearms and a toxic mix of “rage, guilt, and despair” with which to cope.
Many veterans face “survivor’s guilt,” which they often couple with anger. The veterans’ emotional responses to the “bad things” they experienced in combat creates sorrow and anguish in the veterans. The resulting distress often serves as a platform for the veterans’ path to suicide.
Even within the veteran population, there are veterans more at risk than others. Recent data reflects those veterans between 20 and 29 years of age, those veterans over 39 years of age, and female veterans of all ages present higher risks of suicide than all other groups of veterans.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.