VA Reports Spike In Suicide Among Youngest Vets
Nearly 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Thursday that there has been a sharp increase in the amount of young male veterans that commit suicide. There was also a significant increase in the amount of women vets who commit suicide. This terribly startling statistic is the reality of the serious issues a large portions of our veterans struggle with once they get out of the military.
WASHINGTON (Army Times)— There has been a sharp increase in the suicide rate among the youngest male veterans, and a smaller but still significant jump among women who served in the military, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday.
However, the VA found “no clear change” in the overall suicide rate among all veterans using VA health facilities.
Dr. Jan Kemp, who oversees suicide prevention efforts at the VA, said she expected to see an increase among the youngest veterans based on rising suicide rates in the military, but called the numbers alarming, particularly for those in their early 20s. She said too many younger veterans are going to the VA to get care for their physical wounds, but many don’t seek treatment for longer-term mental health issues as well.
“They really haven’t even been out long enough to maybe recognize they’re having longer-term issues with PTSD or with depression,” she said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder. “I think they’re still kind of in that invincible period. There’s somewhat of a culture out there within the military and within these young kids that they don’t need help and they should have all of the answers.”