September 10, 2015
American Military Veterans have experienced an increase in suicidal thoughts and attempts, and these statistics show very troubling numbers. At least 1 in 5 veterans will experience depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders that require treatment. During recent wars, the levels of PTSD among U.S. military members increased exponentially. In 2012, at least 6,500 vets committed suicide, and many more attempted suicide. A study released by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs revealed that from 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate for veterans was an astonishing 22 suicides per day, or one US veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes.
Why is the suicide rate so high for American veterans? Are they falling through the cracks when it comes to receiving the help, treatment, and support they need? The stigma that is attached to mental health illnesses may cause some veterans to remain silent about their conditions. Fear, shame, and feelings of isolation contribute to the lack of outreach. Data from the US Department of Veteran Affairs shows that more than half of the vets who have returned from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have struggled with physical and mental health issues that are service related.
Vets struggle additionally with transitioning back to civilian life, as it is a stark difference from the trauma they may have experienced. Many believe that we are failing our Veterans, those who sacrificed for their country and fellow citizens. If you, or a fellow veteran are in need of assistance with mental health issues, join us for a chat.