(BEDFORD) – Alarmingly, veterans comprise less than 9% of the U.S. population; however, they account for about 18% of suicides.
According to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study, an average of 20 veterans commits suicide each day. That is 7,200 a year.
“We want to raise awareness on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from this complex and tragic health issue,” says Lawrence County Veterans Affair Officer Brad Bough.
Bough shared these alarming numbers with the Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning.
September is suicide awareness month.
According to a Veterans Affairs study conducted in 2015, women who served in the military were more than five times likely to commit suicide compared to a woman who never served in the military.
For serving men, suicide rates increased by 50 percent compared to those who never joined the military.
For veterans, crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service.
The Lawrence County Veterans Affair Office and St. Vincent Dunn Hospital will host a Veterans Crisis Seminar on Thursday, November 7th at 10:30 a.m. at the conference room at St. Vincent Dunn Hospital.
Specialists in the field from the VA Hospital in Indianapolis will lead the discussion.
If you’re a veteran or service member and in crisis, there are resources to help.
In 2007 the VA established The Veterans Crisis Line. It is a free, confidential, 24-hour hotline for Veterans and their families/friends. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.25 million calls and made more than 39,000 lifesaving rescues.
To reach someone right away you can dial a number and speak with someone, send a text, or just as easily start an online chat.
No matter what you are experiencing, there is support for getting your life back on track.