Suicide rate for veterans increases faster than for non-veterans


Veteran-SuicideUTAH COUNTY — “The rockets’ red glare; the bombs bursting in air” is more than just lyrics to be sung during July.

Those words can evoke vivid memories and provoke thoughts of ending the life of a veteran who has experienced those scenes in person.

Suicide rates are generally increasing across the country, but those of veterans are increasing at a greater rate.

A study by the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, analyzed more than 170,000 adult suicides from 2000 to 2010. The age-adjusted veteran suicide rate increased by approximately 25 percent while the non-veteran rate increased by approximately 12 percent. The increase for veterans was about double that of the non-veterans.

Every day approximately 22 veterans in the United States take their own lives. In 10 years, that adds up to more than 80,000 deaths, almost twice as many as died in Vietnam, according to Andrew Wilson, who works with in an effort to prevent some of those deaths.