An estimated eighteen veterans commit suicide daily, according to a report by the Army Times.
With multiple tours of duty for military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers are projected to keep rising. An Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America report states that in March 2012, 28 soldiers reportedly took their own lives. The month before 15 suicides were reported, according to the U.S. Army.
In 2011, the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) reported an average of 950 suicide attempts each month in 2009. Seven percent of those attempts were successful while 11 percent of those who didn’t succeed the first time tried again in nine months.
The VA has committed to adding an additional 1600 mental health care providers, which averages out to 1.5 new personnel per facility. Many experts question whether the added staff will have any real impact on the mental health issues facing veterans – such as suicide and PTSD.
What do you think? I’d like to hear your stories of your experiences with the VA’s mental health services.