According to a NBC news report, every 25 hours a service member committed suicide in 2012.
More than 349 individuals took their own lives across the four branches. This is more than the total number of military deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to figures published by the military’s Defense Casualty Analysis System (Source: NBC News)
USA Today reports Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House VA Committee, said he is holding a hearing Feb. 13 to find out “if the VA’s complex system of mental health and suicide prevention services (is) improving the health and wellness of our heroes in need.”
Researchers found that the average age of a veteran who commits suicide is about 60. Analysts concluded that Vietnam and female veterans need particular focus.
They also determined that a very intense period of risk for suicide is the first four weeks after someone leaves the military, and that this period requires strong monitoring and case management (Source: USA Today)
The Department of Veterans Affairs reports the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 650,000 calls and made more than 23,000 life-saving rescues since 2007. In 2009, VA added the anonymous online chat that has since helped more than 65,000 people.
Emotional and mental crisis is serious. You should know the warning signs:
- Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
- Feeling like there is no reason to live
- Rage or anger
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking
- Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
- Withdrawing from family and friends
If you are a veteran or know a veteran experiencing these symptoms – get help. The Veterans Crisis line is available: Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone now!
You can also take a self-assessment quiz at: http://www.vetselfcheck.org/