A new report “quietly released” on Friday by the Department of Veteran Affairs “paints a horrifying picture of suicide rates among former military service members,” reports Kimberly Lawson.
The report, “Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans 2001–2014,” meticulously breaks down the data by state, age group, and gender, plus the most common methods, and according to its authors, is “unprecedented in its comprehensive analysis of suicide rates among all U.S. Veterans.”
After examining more than 55 million veteran records from 1970 to 2014, researchers found that on average 20 veterans died each day in 2014 and 67 percent of all veteran suicide deaths were the result of firearm injuries.
Women veterans were 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide than civilian women, and female veterans who had the greatest rates of suicide were between the ages of 18–29, notes Lawson.
In a press release, VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin called the findings “deeply concerning,” adding that suicide prevention was his “top clinical priority” made possible by “support and education.”