VA Reports Increase in Suicides Among Young Male Veterans

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WASHINGTON — The suicide rate among male veterans under 30 has increased, according to a recent VA suicide data update.

According to a VHA briefing, the rate of suicides among male veteran VHA users aged 18 to 24 jumped from 46.1 per 100,000 in 2009 to 79.1 per 100,000 in 2011.  Overall, the rate of suicides among 18 to 29 year old males increased from 40.3 per 100,000 users in 2009 to 57.9 per 100,000 VHA users in 2011.

The statistics were provided as part of a VHA briefing that detailed additional information related to a 2012 VA suicide report.

“Data has been obtained from the CDC and several states; this now allows us to look at veteran suicide rates in comparison with the general population and compare veterans who get care in the VHA with those who do not,” the briefing explained.

Other findings reported by VHA include:

  • The rate of suicide among female VHA users remains higher than the rate of suicides among all U.S. females.
  • Rates of suicide among VHA users with mental health conditions have decreased
  • The greatest percentage of suicides among male VHA users result from a firearm injury

That suicide rates among the total population of VHA users remained more or less constant over the past several years, according to VHA.

The data can be found at: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/11973/january-2014-va-suicide-data-update/

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