Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) October 1, 2021 – According to a new report released by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of veterans who died by suicide in 2019 was the lowest in 12 years. Still, the rate remains much higher for veterans than non-military adults in the United States.
The VA recorded 6,261 veteran suicides in 2019, which is 399 fewer than in 2018. The 7.2 percent decrease is the steepest drop since 2001. The rate has fluctuated slightly from year to year, but between 2005 and 2018, it rose by an average of 48 deaths by suicide per year overall. Seventeen veterans killed themselves per day in 2019 on average.
“Although this is encouraging news, suicide is still a critical issue for veterans,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “Veterans died by suicide at a rate more than 52 percent higher than non-veteran adults in the United States. The VA and other veteran organizations are extremely focused on reducing these numbers with new resources and research. This latest decrease shows that the efforts are working, but there is still much to be done.”
The rate of suicide for veterans has increased dramatically in the years since the nation declared war on terror. A recent study from Brown University, published in June, found that since the 9/11 attacks, 30,177 active-duty personnel and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had taken their own lives. That is four times as many as were casualties of the wars themselves.
The data included in the VA’s 2019 report is from before the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are unsure of how that and other recent events will influence the 2020 and 2021 findings. So far, calls to the VA crisis hotline increased nine percent in the weeks following the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the subsequent Taliban takeover.
The VA is still treating veteran suicide as a public health issue and promoting both community-and clinically-based programs to reduce it. The VA is expanding mental health services and helping veterans know what is available and how to access it. It has increased efforts to reach rural veterans who live too far from a VA healthcare facility to receive care there regularly. It has made it easier for veterans to get counseling at no cost and specifically targeted at-risk veterans who own guns for safety training.
Legal Help for Veterans is a veteran-owned and operated VA disability claim law firm located in Northville, Michigan. For more information on Legal Help for Veterans, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800