Yes, you read that title correctly.
You see statistics are weird. Very manipulatable. Hard to decipher what's actually going on, until you really dig into what's behind the numbers.
So, the rate of suicide among veterans has decreased, meaning the "22 a day" is wrong. It's more like 20 a day. But, this is NOT a good thing. In fact, the risk of suicide is HIGHER than ever. Also, Rajeev Ramchand (an epidemiologist who studies suicide for the RAND Corporation) said, “It is not a helpful number.” This echos the sentiments of a number of researchers in the field. “It doesn’t tell us anything. People should stop using it.”
So, what is happening here?
Well, WWII and Korean War veterans are dying off of old age, which decreases the number of veterans still alive. With a decrease in the actual number of veterans alive it decreases the "22" to "20" suicides a day. This could lead one to believe suicide risk is declining.
Actually the suicide rate is increasing.
Here are some more crazy numbers outlining the suicide rate:
There was a study conducted by the VA, which looked at 55 million death records of veterans from 1979-2014 from every state. The study found something very sad. Hardest hit were young veterans. The suicide rate for veterans age 18 to 29 was 86 deaths per 100,000 for men and 33 deaths per 100,000 for women — much higher than previous estimates, and almost twice as high as all other age groups. The civilian suicide rate is about 14 deaths per 100,000.
SOME GOOD NEWS!
Veterans who use the VA health services had dramatically lower increases in suicide rates — 78 percent lower among men and 95 percent lower among women.
This isn't just a shoutout to the VA health services, it's actually a shoutout to ALL mental health services.
As long as you're taking the steps to workout your brain, you increase your likelihood of surviving.
What a WONDERFUL thought.
You can do this. We all can, veteran or not. If you just need to decompress, message us on Facebook, Instagram, or email