The number of Veterans committing suicide has surpassed 6,000 every year from 2008 to 2017. Older Veterans who have committed suicide were mostly aged 55-74 years old, and 18 to 34 years old among younger Veterans. Soldiers asked the reason why they commit suicide. And their heartbreaking answer? There’s a strong desire in them to end intense emotional distress.
Veterans accounted for 13.5% of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults and constituted 7.9% of the U.S. adult population in 2017. Veterans had the most significant total number of suicides in 2017, accounting for 38% of all veteran suicide deaths that year. They are now known to have a suicide figure of 17 people a day.
We must keep in mind that there is no single explanation and neither a unique path that leads to or escapes suicide. Single medical cause, etiology, and treatment or prevention strategy are non-existent when it comes to this matter as it varies from one person to another. Even suicide rates alter by decade and factor by economic conditions, region and state, demographics, and occupational categories. Half of the Veterans diagnosed with a mental health condition before their deaths.
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) conducted a study on their service users and it has been presumed that the Veteran users are highly affected by economic factors such as homelessness and unemployment. Other factors to be also considered are the level of military service-connected disability status, community interrelatedness, and personal health status and wellness. What seemed unfortunate is that their exemplary skills obtained during their service in the military may not be that beneficial in finding career positions in the civilian world. Also, unemployment and poverty have considerably corresponded with homelessness among Veterans.
Additionally, it was observed that homelessness appears to play a massive role in suicide for VHA patients. VHA patients that seemed to be homeless or have received homeless-related services had higher rates of suicide compared to other VHA patients. The suicide rate among male veterans was 1.3 times the rate for other adult men in 2017. Almost 70 percent of Veteran suicide deaths were a result of firearms in 2017.
Now that we look further into the situation, we arrive at a realization the Veterans’ psychological health accounted for many factors that significantly affect their everyday life. Life during their service in the military has been challenging for them, and after their discharge, economic disparities may bring them to the worst.