The Veteran Suicide rate has climbed to an estimated twenty-two veterans a day nationwide. Doing the simple math on that it means that nearly one veteran every hour will commit suicide. That means that 154 veterans a week commit suicide, 660 veterans a month commit suicide, and a staggering 7,920 veterans a year commit suicide.
The World Health Organization released another report in 2017 that stated for every veteran that successfully commits suicide there are 20 more veterans that attempt to commit suicide. If you go by that report that means that nearly 480 veterans attempt suicide each day! This is a huge problem in the United States.
What is the cause of this large amount of veterans committing suicide each day? I am sure there are many different variables that factor into a veteran suicide rate. However, there are some main issues that contribute to this alarming epidemic. Many veterans are exposed to multiple combat deployments while enlisted in the military.
These deployments are many times under harsh conditions. Soldiers see things and do things in war that stick with them mentally for the rest of their lives. I am a two time combat veteran myself and I have struggled with PTSD on a daily basis.
To cope with the issues brought on by PTSD and depression many veterans resort to drug and alcohol abuse. Most veterans are very prideful and it’s hard for them to ask for help with PTSD. I self-medicated for years with alcohol to cope with the effects of my PTSD. This pattern of behavior always worsens PTSD.
What can a veteran do if they are contemplating suicide?
- I joined a peer support group and started talking about my PTSD. This helped me out tremendously. I felt comfortable for once in my life and was able to open up to other veterans that had been where I had been. I encourage every veteran suffering from PTSD to seek help. Let’s raise awareness and help stop veterans suicide.
- Talk to your friends and family about what you are going through? Talk to somebody. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up on the inside.
- You can call the Veterans Crisis Line at: (800) 273-8255