An average of 20 Veterans die by suicide each day. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) urges communities to come together and take action to prevent suicide by Veterans.
Suicide Risk Among VeteransVA is working to reduce suicide rates among all Veterans, whether or not they use VA health care benefits and services. In September, VA released its 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report. The report showed that:
- The number of Veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to 2017.
- In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population differences in age and sex.
Take Action to Help Prevent Suicide by VeteransOften, the friends and family of a person who is thinking about suicide know something is wrong, but they don’t know how and where to get help. They may be afraid to speak up about their concerns. However, speaking up is the best first step to help a person in crisis. Suicide intervention is any action that has the potential to stop a person from suicidal behavior or help him or her get back to a more positive outlook. Intervention is not only help given in a suicidal crisis; it is also talking, listening and offering help and support at any stage for a person in need.
QuickNote: Most people who are thinking about suicide show certain signs, symptoms and behaviors that can be recognized by people who are familiar with these signals.