Veteran Suicide

When comparing veteran suicide and people who never served in the military, it is clear than veteran suicide is much more prevalent among some subsets of veterans.  Looking at CDC study data, among all deaths resulting from suicides around 20% are veterans.  The Veterans Affairs Administrations (VA) conducted their own study which showed slightly higher results where they found that 22% of veteran suicides.  Extrapolating the data, around 20 veterans a day die as the result of suicide.  Veteran suicide is a serious concern.

Current service members and veterans who access health services from the VA are much more likely to commit veteran suicide when comparing them to the both the general US population and veterans overall.  Since the start of the year 2000, veterans who have used VA services commit five to six suicides a day which is 1500 to 2000 suicides a year.  When comparing veterans who access VA services to the overall population, they are more than 3 times more likely to commit veteran suicide.  When the numbers are broken down further, men are the major drivers of this statistic.  Around half of all veteran suicides came from people who were diagnosed as having a mental problem within the year before their death and compared to the general population their odds of suicide were about 7 greater than the US population as a whole.

From 2010 to 2012 statistics showed that more than 30,000 military veterans who used VA services attempted and failed to kill themselves.  Breaking down these numbers, 50% of these people never tried to commit suicide before.   Of those who had prior attempts, 15% of these individuals made a second attempt of suicide within 365 days.  This data suggests that of those people who attempted to kill themselves once, 15% are likely to attempt suicide again in the future.  These veterans are at a very high risk of reoccurrence and therefore any signs of veteran suicide should be taken very seriously.

About 80% of our patients report thoughts of suicide when they start treatment.  Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in preventing suicide and treating depression and other disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of suicide, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.  Depression can be fatal and suicide can be prevented.