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A Veteran Commits Suicide Every 80 Minutes

“Center For A New American Security Study Reveals Startling Statistic.”

 

by Ken Smith 

 

A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, according to a study published Monday.

Military suicides have increased since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. In the fiscal year 2009 alone, 1,868 veterans of these wars have made suicide attempts, according to armytimes.com.

The VA estimates that about 18 veterans commit suicide every day, but this statistic is based on limited data. Only 16 states submit the cause of death among veterans and the VA relies on 3-year-old data for its reports. Improved information collection could help determine if veterans are committing suicide soon after leaving the military and if there’s a higher risk among post-9/11 veterans compared with earlier generations, the study noted.

“The DOD does not currently take sufficient responsibility for veteran suicide,” the authors said. “Given the potential implications of veteran suicide for the all volunteer force, the DOD should seek to understand which veterans, and how many veterans, are dying by suicide.”

These staggering figures underscore the need for the VA to develop more mental-health programs and an accurate system for recording the number of veterans and service members who take their lives.

“America is losing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members,” authors Dr. Margaret C. Harrell and Nancy Berglass concluded. “And as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow.”

Faced with the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder, unemployment rates tipping 12 percent and a loss of the military camaraderie, many veterans report feeling purposeless upon returning home.

Marine Corps veteran Jason Christiansen, 35, of St. Paul, Minn. is one such veteran that nearly killed himself after watching his life unravel upon completing his service. He lost his job as an auto dealer in 2008, avoided debt collectors and fell into a serious depression, Minnesota.publicradio.org reports.

“At one point, I was sitting there with a gun in my mouth,” Christiansen told the news outlet.

A friend pushed Christiansen to seek help at a VA program, a key player in the rescuing of veterans in despair.

The Veterans Crisis Line, launched in 2007, has fielded more than 400,000 calls and has saved more than 14,000 lives, according to the Veterans Affairs mental health website.

The epidemic is raging among those who are currently serving too. From 2005 to 2010, approximately one service member committed suicide every 36 hours, the CNAS study revealed.

While the VA mental-health programs have proven to be effective, the authors of the report offered concrete suggestions on how to prevent even more military members and veterans from taking their lives.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on Nov 2 2011, With 0 Reads, Filed under Medical Disability Benefits, PTSD, Vet News, Veterans Affairs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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4 Comments for “A Veteran Commits Suicide Every 80 Minutes”

  1. Cpl. Lovenguth USMC, if you don’t want to read the posts from this gent, then don’t. See who its from, and move along. Telling someone to OD or shoot himself in the head and just STFU so you aren’t bothered, well, that says how sick you still are. Your lack of empathy and even understanding is appalling. How would you feel if you were trying to get your voice heard and were told to STFU and kill yourself?

    Why you’re posting this on a page dealing with veteran suicide is beyond me. I hope someone gets you into the VA hospital quickly, so you can deal with this rage and anger to others. You officially qualify as the most horrible person I’ve read in months–and I hope you get treatment soon. For now, just know that you are the biggest douchebag out there.

    Michelle Cook
    CPL/E-4(P) USA

  2. Robert Lee Mason

    Problems star with the military and it’s careless handling of records usually, the the real demon comes out if you ever file a claim for PTSd. The name of the demon the VA. More veterans I suspect have committed suicide after filing a claim and being jerked around by the VA. i finally won my claim after 27 years of fighting and was awarded 100% S/c for PTSD from Nam. Now the Va has stated they will be issuing me a fee basis card as they admit they can’t treat me after what they did.
    I don’t whine and have all the prof in black and white.
    The VA and it’s lack of proper care is the main problem, not the veteran.

  3. Cpl lovenguth….
    The ANSWER and SOLUTIONS to this problem is to have EVERY soldier suffering or cares WHINE LOUD and WHINE PROUD until the American MASSES …..WAKE UP to this brutal reality and 1)Get involved 2)Force our corrupt government into REAL ACTION and/or 3)Anything I’m NOT saying that will WORK!!!!!….YOU being a ‘B. O’Reilly/Rush Limbaugh’ WANNABE…. ATTACK the messenger to stop the message is BS and shows YOUR WEAKNESS!
    KickAss Peace HH

  4. Peter, I’ve been reading VT for about two years now. We all have our VN demons but I gotta tell you, you’re a whiner man, When I was behind steel doors at the VA I got real tired of your type, always whining. If it’s that bad then you know the routine, shoot yourself in the head or eat a handful of oxy. But this constant “oh me” is really bullshit. People are seeking information and answers, and you just whine.

    Cpl. Lovenguth USMC (H) Door Gunner

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