VA study: 22 vets commit suicide every day

KRSOne

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VA study: 22 vets commit suicide every day


Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY4:13p.m. EST February 1, 2013
Veterans Affairs says it has responded to the findings by creating a task force "to provide recommendations for innovative mental health care." It has also increased staff for the VA crisis hotline.

An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide in the United States every day, a slightly higher number than the 18-per-day rate the Department of Veterans Affairs had indicated in years past, according to a VA study made public today.

"We have more work to do," VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement released Friday. "We will use this data to continue to strengthen our suicide prevention efforts and ensure all veterans receive the care they have earned and deserve."

The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee called the pace of veterans suicides unacceptable.

"What we're seeing is an extraordinary tragedy which speaks to the horror of war and the need for us to do a much better job of assisting our soldiers and their families after they return home," says Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

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.

The analysis found that the actual number of estimated suicides per day among veterans has remained relatively stable, ranging from 20 per day in 2000 to 18 per day in 2007 and 22 per day in 2009 and 2010, the latest estimates available, according to a report on the study released Friday. The rate of suicide among veterans who use VA health care services has remained steady in recent years, at about 36 per 100,000.

The most common means of committing suicide by veterans — in half of the deaths — is drug overdose or poisoning, according to the VA study.

The department says it has responded to the findings by creating a task force "to provide recommendations for innovative mental health care." It has also increased staff for the VA crisis hotline, which the department says has been instrumental in 26,000 rescues. The VA has also is expanding its mental health staff by 1,600 clinicians and is training 800 peer-to-peer specialists to work with other veterans.

The new analysis of veteran suicides was possible because of a nearly 20-month effort to obtain suicide data on veterans from each state. At least 34 states have cooperated and another eight are in the process of doing so. The final analysis released Friday was based upon only a partial completion of data received from 21 states, the VA says.
If the ladies are already the highest suicide risk I wonder what suicide rates will be for ladies in combat.
 

lajikal

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Holy fuck! Just knew about the 1xday active duty.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#5
On average, 88 people die by suicide each day in the U.S.
I don't think the rate for "veterans" is statistically significant overall, considering the study doesn't seem to separate "recently discharged" from "everyone who has ever served in the Armed Forces".
 

tattered

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#6
I don't think the rate for "veterans" is statistically significant overall, considering the study doesn't seem to separate "recently discharged" from "everyone who has ever served in the Armed Forces".
Well a veteran is a veteran. Time span don't really matter. I find it disturbing thou that they make 25% of all suicides per day and I don't think it's a coincidence either
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#8
Well a veteran is a veteran. Time span don't really matter. I find it disturbing thou that they make 25% of all suicides per day and I don't think it's a coincidence either
But it's the same statistical pool as saying brown haired people commit 22 suicides a day. Correlation vs causation and all that. If there was a study that said we are seeing 22 suicides a day among troops recently discharged/returned from Iraq/enrolled in the Armed forces a day, you'd be onto something. But now you are mixing OIF with Vietnam/Desert Storm/Grenada/Kosovo/whatever other theater we can toss in there.
 

lajikal

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But it's the same statistical pool as saying brown haired people commit 22 suicides a day. Correlation vs causation and all that. If there was a study that said we are seeing 22 suicides a day among troops recently discharged/returned from Iraq/enrolled in the Armed forces a day, you'd be onto something. But now you are mixing OIF with Vietnam/Desert Storm/Grenada/Kosovo/whatever other theater we can toss in there.
Not really. Less than 2% of the us population has served in the military since and including vietnam at any given time. So its a narrow enough pool to make a point. But more useful metrics would be how many were diagnosed with ptsd (since they started diagnosing) and how many had pre-existing mental health shit.
 

Party Rooster

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#12
I don't think the rate for "veterans" is statistically significant overall, considering the study doesn't seem to separate "recently discharged" from "everyone who has ever served in the Armed Forces".
Like I said (and Kirk didn't take the bait), the suicide rate for veterans has actually dropped as a percentage of all suicides. YAY PILLS!

As Suicides Rise in U.S., Veterans Are Less of Total


By JAMES DAO
Published: February 1, 2013

The report, based on the most extensive data the department has ever collected on suicide, found that the number of suicides among veterans reached 22 a day in 2010, the most recent year available.

That was up by 22 percent from 2007, when the daily number was 18. But it is only 10 percent higher than in 1999, according to the report. Department officials described the numbers as “relatively stable” over the decade.

In the same 12-year period, the total number of suicides in the country rose steadily to an estimated 105 a day in 2010, up from 80 in 1999, a 31 percent increase.

As a result, the percentage of the nation’s daily suicides committed by veterans declined to 21 percent in 2010, from 25 percent in 1999.

“What’s happening with veterans is a reflection of what’s happening to America,” Jan Kemp, the national mental health director for suicide prevention at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in an interview. “The suicide rate in America has been creeping up.”

Dr. Kemp said the fact that veterans accounted for a smaller percentage of the nation’s suicides suggested that improved outreach and suicide prevention programs might have had an effect.

But other experts said that for a variety of reasons — including the fact that many veterans have access to health care through the department — the suicide rate for veterans should be much lower than it is.

“This remains a crisis,” said Paul Sullivan, a founder of Veterans for Common Sense.

The new report does not provide a suicide rate for veterans, because the department is still refining that number, Dr. Kemp said. But she acknowledged that the rate was higher than for the general population, which is 12.4 suicides per 100,000 people.

Dr. Kemp said veterans tend to fall into higher-risk groups, which include: being male; living in a rural area, particularly in the West; and having access to firearms.

Past reports on suicide among veterans have been based on data collected by the federal government from only about a third of the states. But because of growing concerns about veteran suicide, the department asked every state to provide data on veterans.

The new report — which was previously described in The Washington Post — is based on a database built from information on more than 147,000 suicides in 21 states — a large enough number to develop accurate estimates for the entire veteran population, department officials said. Dr. Kemp added that the department now had data from 40 states and tentative agreements to receive information from the remaining 10.

Among the report’s other important findings was that male veterans who commit suicide tend to be older than nonveteran male suicides, with the largest number of veterans’ suicides occurring among men between 50 and 59. Dr. Kemp said the department intended to increase outreach to that age group.

At the same time, the new data suggested that veterans under 30 are committing suicide in smaller numbers than their nonveteran peers. That would seem to contradict theories that the recent wars have contributed to increased suicide among new veterans.

Somewhat surprisingly, the study confirmed an estimate first reported in 2008 that 18 veterans commit suicide each day. That figure had been viewed skeptically by many experts because it was not based on detailed data. But the new, more comprehensive data resulted in the same estimate.

A version of this article appeared in print on February 2, 2013, on page A12
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/us/veterans-make-up-shrinking-percentage-of-suicides.html
 

tattered

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#13
Seriously guys I understand its Kirk but deliberately attempting to turn EVERYTHING he says/posts into a flame war is getting on my nerves. Smash him if he says something retarded which here he didn't do.
 

Party Rooster

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#14
Seriously guys I understand its Kirk but deliberately attempting to turn EVERYTHING he says/posts into a flame war is getting on my nerves. Smash him if he says something retarded which here he didn't do.
I think I did. And this isn't retarded?
If the ladies are already the highest suicide risk I wonder what suicide rates will be for ladies in combat.
 

Hudson

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#17
I think 88 per day is a low ball average...seeing as how I see at average 2 per week, and I hear at least two calls per day for them. I think a bunch get classified as "death by misadventure"..or "accidental deaths", especially in the older populations on the latter, especially in the assisted living communities...
Think about it, you are in an assisted living community..you know you have maybe 5-10 years left, you have everything in order: will, funeral, and ETC, no one listens to you, you can still go to the store and buy booze on Tuesdays, and have a tray of pills that looks like a Mancala board:
.....like you wouldn't
 

Loogie

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#18
I think 88 per day is a low ball average...seeing as how I see at average 2 per week, and I hear at least two calls per day for them. I think a bunch get classified as "death by misadventure"..or "accidental deaths", especially in the older populations on the latter, especially in the assisted living communities...
Think about it, you are in an assisted living community..you know you have maybe 5-10 years left, you have everything in order: will, funeral, and ETC, no one listens to you, you can still go to the store and buy booze on Tuesdays, and have a tray of pills that looks like a Mancala board:
.....like you wouldn't
What the fuck is Mancala?
 

Buster H

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#20
Not really. Less than 2% of the us population has served in the military since and including vietnam at any given time. So its a narrow enough pool to make a point. But more useful metrics would be how many were diagnosed with ptsd (since they started diagnosing) and how many had pre-existing mental health shit.
What the hell kind of math are you using?

Between active duty and reserves, there are close to 1% already.

Quick google search shows that there are 21.5 million vets in the us. That's 7%
 

lajikal

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#21
What the hell kind of math are you using?

Between active duty and reserves, there are close to 1% already.

Quick google search shows that there are 21.5 million vets in the us. That's 7%
My bad, meant 2% of us population who are/were serving at any given time.