VA study: 22 vets commit suicide every day Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY 3:33p.m. EST February 1, 2013 [View all]
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Source: USA Today
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.
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.