Military and veteran suicide prevention
About the issue
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (2019), the suicide rate among Veterans is 1.5 times greater than the non-Veteran population, with over 6,000 veterans dying by suicide each year. Despite accounting for just 7.9% of the population, Veterans account for 13.5% of all suicide deaths in the United States.
There is no single cause of Veteran and military suicide, but by treating and preventing mental health and substance use conditions, addressing access to lethal means (firearms accounted for 69.4% of Veteran suicides in 2017), and empowering Veterans to live and thrive in their communities, we can save lives.
For more information about firearms and suicide prevention, please see the toolkit Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business: A Toolkit for Safe Firearm Storage in Your Community created in partnership with the VA and NSSF
Where we stand
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is committed to protecting those people who protect us and believes that veteran and military suicide prevention is a national priority.
Currently, AFSP is focused on supporting the passage of legislation that prioritizes suicide prevention for veterans, enhancing programs that target at-risk veterans, and aiding the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in its mission to serve and honor our former Service Members.