Tag Archive: Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Releases Veteran Suicide Statistics by State

Report show state, age, gender and most common method.


WASHINGTON (Sept.15, 2017) the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its analysis of Veteran suicide data for 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The release is part of VA’s comprehensive examination of more than 55 million records, from 1979 to 2014, which will be used to develop and evaluate suicide prevention programs across every state.

The new data include Veteran suicide rates and overall suicide rates by state, age group, and gender and list the most common suicide methods. Analysis of this information will help VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention gain insight into high-risk populations and share that information with community-based health care providers and partners, continuing to expand the network of support for Veterans.

Among VA findings: Findings show there is variability across the nation in the rates and numbers of deaths by suicide among Veterans. Overall, the Veteran rates mirror those of the general population in the geographic region, with the highest rates in Western states. While we see higher rates of suicide in some states with smaller populations, most Veteran suicides are still in the heaviest populated areas.

The suicide rate among middle-age and older adult Veterans remains high. In 2014, approximately 65 percent of all Veterans who died by suicide were age 50 or older.

After adjusting for differences in age and sex, risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adults. After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 19 percent higher among male Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult men. After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 2.5 times higher among female Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult women.

“These findings are deeply concerning, which is why I made suicide prevention my top clinical priority,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “I am committed to reducing Veteran suicides through support and education. We know that of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 are not under VA care. This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach.”

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.


Vietnam Vietnam Veterans HonoredVietnam Veterans Honored 

Veterans of the Vietnam War were honored during a special 50th Anniversary commemoration ceremony held at Tahoma National Cemetery on Saturday, April 1.

Keynote Speaker for the event was Jim Martinson. A Vietnam Veteran himself, Martinson lost both legs above the knee as a result of an action near Da Nang in 1968.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Tahoma National Cemetery will honor the service, sacrifice, and enduring achievements of the Vietnam Veterans at this Vietnam War Commemoration 50th Anniversary event, through a special pinning ceremony. (Image of pin at right)

Those eligible include any living US Veteran who served on active duty in the US Armed Forces between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The pins were presented by Jim Martinson and Cemetery Director Thomas Yokes.

News from National: VFW Report – Veterans Prefer VA Care

logoWASHINGTON (September 25, 2015) — One of the greatest ongoing debates in the aftermath of last year’s allegations of patients dying on secret waiting lists is where America’s veterans should get their care. According to a new report released this week by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, America’s veterans prefer that their care be provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Entitled “Our Care,” the VFW report revealed that where veterans choose to receive their care depends on the number of options they have available. Still, the majority of the 1,847 veterans surveyed prefer to use the VA because they receive high quality care, they regard VA health care as an earned benefit, and they consider VA’s ability to treat service-connected conditions to be unmatched anywhere in the private sector.

“The VFW has been at the forefront of helping all veterans to obtain the timely and quality care they earned and deserve,” said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki, “and we will continue to work to ensure veterans have a voice when reforming a VA that was created to serve them.”