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Military Veteran Suicide Rate and What You Can Do to Help


Suicide is a major health concern in the United States and is the tenth leading cause of death in the country. However, suicide is an especially high concern when it comes to veterans as the military veteran suicide rate has risen drastically.

From 2005 to 2016, the military veteran suicide rate spiked by 25.9% to about 30 per 100,000 population. Veterans have been shown to be 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than civilians. This averages out to roughly 20 veteran suicides per day.

If we are to decrease the military veteran suicide rate, it is imperative that everyone learns the warning signs as well as how to act when a loved one is possibly suicidal.

Warning Signs

Almost everyone who intends to commit suicide will give some sign or warning of their intention. Here are some common warning signs:

  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Rage or anger
  • Increased alcohol or drug misuse
  • Withdrawal from family or friends

If you notice the following signs, the situation requires immediate attention:

  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Actively looking for a way to hurt or kill themselves
  • Self-destructive behavior (mishandling guns, drug misuse, etc.)

What You Can Do

If you are concerned that someone you care about is considering suicide, it’s important to approach them in a loving manner and to offer help. Showing that you care and allowing the individual to express their feelings can provide relief from their negative feelings and may even prevent a suicide attempt. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

It is very critical that you act quickly in such situations. If you find out that a person is suicidal, try to find out if they have a plan. Do they have a date? Do they have the means?

If the person has a plan set and has the means and the intent to carry it out, get professional help immediately.

Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital

Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital offers many high-quality adult psychiatric programs aimed to help those struggling with psychological issues. If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact us today.

If you are unsure of how to approach a family member, we are available 24/7 to help with family referrals.