US veteran suicides far higher than reported – study — Analysis
Researchers have discovered that former troops take their own lives at a rate of about 2.4x the official government claim.
America’s military veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate reported by the government, wiping out the equivalent of a platoon of former troops each day, an extensive study has revealed.
An average of 24 former service members are dying each day by officially declared suicides, 37% more than has been reported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a study released on Saturday by a not-for-profit group called America’s War Partnership (AWP). Another 20 veterans die each day on an average basis by suicide. “self-injury mortality,”Such as overdoses of drugs.
The VA categorizes self injury deaths as either accidental or undetermined. But the AWP says such cases require deliberate actions that can lead to death, and in some cases, deliberately. The group’s study, which was done with the assistance of contract researchers at the University of Alabama and Duke University, was based on a “deep dive”Eight states provided 2014-2018 data. The VA averaged 17.7 veterans dying from suicide per day during that period.
“It’s devastating,”Jim Lorraine, President of the AWP spoke with NBC News. “I’m not only a veteran myself. My son and son-in-law serve, while my wife is also a veteran. I know a lot of veterans who have died from suicide.”
AWP suggested that many veteran suicides were undercounted due to human error. Study found that veterans who have served less than three years are most at risk. Also, those who had been demoted in their service career took their lives at 56% greater rate than the general population. An additional year of service decreases suicide risk by around 2%.
The Coast Guard veterans have the highest suicide rates of all the service branches. They are followed closely by Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Force. The rates were almost the same for all racial and gender groups. Nearly 40% of veterans who have a partner (such as a spouse) are less likely to commit suicide.
The US offered additional time to troops who were not being arrested
A study last year by Brown University found that over four times as many US soldiers and veterans have died by suicide than in combat since America’s “War on Terror”It was September 2001.
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