Veterans and PTSD











Suicide prevention for veterans

Risk of suicide is not increased by talking about it. So if you think someone is in trouble, talk to them. If you are overwhelmed, reach out.

The resources below are both for military and family, for both the veteran and concerned friends. There is no shame in reaching out. If you were downed in battle would you not call for help? It really is a clinical situation, like a broken bone or heart surgery.

Suicide resources for veterans:

Veterans Crisis Hotline and Online Chat and 1-800-273-8255 then press 1.
Professionally trained clinical staff. Can provide referral to other services, such as substance abuse treatment, marital counseling, treatment for depression and PTSD. Run by the VA. Since 2007. Over 18,000 life-saving interventions. Answered 500,000 calls.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (also chat on website).
Spanish language line 1-888-628-9454.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

General knowledge and help for veterans (alcohol problems, anxiety, etc.)
The Veterans Administrations mental health services website.

How many veterans die each year from suicide?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, resulting in 38,000 fatalities (in 2010), making it a significant public health priority.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health ("Estimating the Risk of Suicide Among US Veterans," Kaplan et al.), an estimated 5,000 veterans die by suicide each year. The VA's Suicide Data Report, 2012 found a higher figure, 22 suicides per pay, or 8,000 per year. The VA study also recorded 11,000 non-fatal suicide attempts a year. A 2007 study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that male veterans are twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to commit suicide. Suicide rates go up as people age, and more men than women die from suicide.