U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Report –
Veteran Suicide Rates by State
From 22 Veteran suicides a day in 2016 to 17 a day in 2019, the trend is improving but more can be done. View the landmark VA report and annual reports since then, as well as a state-by-state breakdown of Veteran suicides in detail.
State information compiled and sourced from the 2016 Veterans Administration landmark soldier suicide report.
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State Listed Alphabetically
Review the Updated Report from the Department of Defense
Issued by the Department of Defense, this state-by-state report is part of a larger VA report called “The Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) National Suicide Data Report”. It was recently updated in June 2018. The biggest update was that the number of suicides a day was reduced from 22 to 20.6 suicides every day. 16.8 were veterans and 3.8 were active-duty service members, guardsmen, and reservists.
About the Suicide Data Sheets by State Report
In addition to shining a light on veteran suicide, the high numbers published in the report created a greater sense of urgency to attack the problem.
Included in the VA’s Mental Health Suicide Prevention report:
- Texas and Florida both lost 530 veterans to suicide – the most in the country
- Hawaii, Rhode Island and North Dakota suffering the least
- Older veterans aged 55 -74 killed themselves the most
- 70% of vets killed themselves with a firearm
To download the 2016 State Data Excel file and see just the statistics, click here.
ADDITIONAL VA SUICIDE RATE REPORT HIGHLIGHTS:
Findings show there is variability across the nation in the rates and numbers of deaths by suicide among Veterans. Overall, the Veteran rates mirror those of the general population in the geographic region, with the highest rates in Western states. While we see higher rates of suicide in some states with smaller populations, most Veteran suicides are still in the heaviest populated areas.
- The suicide rate among middle-age and older adult Veterans remains high.
- In 2014, approximately 65 percent of all Veterans who died by suicide were age 50 or older.
- After adjusting for differences in age and sex, risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adults.
- After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 19 percent higher among male Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult men.
- After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 2.5 times higher among female Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult women.
ABOUT THE UPDATED 9-2018 OMHSP National Suicide Data Report 2005-2016
- Data compilation for the research study started in 2005 and ended in 2014.
- After two years of compiling, the report came out in 2016.
- Despite the grave numbers, suicide rates among veterans is only 1.5X higher than the national average of non-veterans.
- The crisis has gained prominence because veteran healthcare and funeral benefits don’t reflect their service and/or their family’s sacrifice. In addition, the reports biggest news:
- The biggest group of soldier suicides comes from older vets, aged 50 and above.
- They’re mostly living in the western part of the USA.
- They are the more likely to commit suicide due to PTSD and poor VA assistance.
- They have little money to pay for their own funerals or have VA benefits to cover it.
However, the biggest eye-opener from the report was a quote from then VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin, who said: “We know that of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 are not under VA care. This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach.”
Once a Soldier knew there was a big need and no one to fill it. This became our mission.
How You Can Help
GIVE TODAY. LET THEM KNOW YOU CARE. VETERAN FAMILIES DESERVE OUR HELP.
Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.
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