Military and Veteran Suicide Prevention
About the issue
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Suicide Data Report 2005-2016 (Sept. 2018) the Veteran suicide rate is 1.5 times greater than the non-Veteran population, with over 6,000 veterans dying by suicide each year. In 2016 over 58% of Veteran suicides were among Veterans older than 54, but the suicide rate for young veterans (ages 18-34) has increased substantially in the past ten years.
There is no single cause of veteran and military suicide, but by treating and preventing mental illness and addiction, addressing access to lethal means (firearms accounted for over 2/3 of veteran suicides in 2016), and empowering Veterans to live and thrive in their communities, we can save lives.▲ Back to Top
Where we stand
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is committed to protecting those the people that protect us and believes that veteran and military suicide prevention is a national priority.
AFSP urges the enforcement and oversight of parity laws, recognizing that this has largely become the responsibility of the states and requires collaboration between state lawmakers and regulators. 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.▲ Back to Top