“America is losing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members. And, as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow.” – That’s the conclusion of a policy brief from the Center for New Security.
The authors, Dr. Margaret C. Harrell and Nancy Berglass, acknowledge there’s a lack of current data to determine veteran suicide rates accurately. But, they cite an estimate from a Department of Veterans’ Affairs March 2010 Fact Sheet: a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes.
An active duty military service member commits suicide every 36 hours according to a Department of Defense report that looked at suicides from 2005 to 2010 among service members in the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Marines.
The briefing paper looks at four things:
- Frequency of suicide within the U.S. Military and if it’s related to military service.
- Steps the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs should take to reduce suicides.
- Identifies obstacles to reducing suicide rates.
- Makes recommendations addressing each obstacle.
Filed under: Suicide Prevention, Veterans Administration | Tagged: Center for a New American Security, Dr. Margaret C. Harrell, Military suicide, Nancy Berglass, postaday2011, United States armed forces, United States Department of Defense, Veterans' Affairs Department |