Veteran Suicide Rates Reach All-Time High

Mar 2013

In January 2013, the San Antonio Express published an article drawing attention to the high number of military suicides. pointed out that this was a major problem both on the national level as well as within the state of Texas.

Suicide negligence attorney Skip Simpson knows that many veterans are struggling with PTSD, joblessness and other mental, physical and social problems, which are contributing to higher suicide rates. We urge veterans’ health administrators, lawmakers and all mental health professionals to provide veterans with the help and support they need to try to curb the record number of suicides that are occurring.

Veteran Suicides Occurring at Record Numbers

According to, the number of military suicides was at a record high in 2012, with 516 military suicides occurring across all branches of the military. Those in the army were most likely to commit suicide, with a total of 325 army suicides. The army deaths accounted for two-thirds of all military deaths-by-suicide in 2012.

The San Antonio Express also indicated that approximately one military suicide occurred every 18 hours over the course of the year. This record-high number of suicides has been reflective of a recent trend. For example, the San Antonio Express quoted data from the army showing that 1,940 army suicides have occurred since 2003. Further, the total suicides over the past ten years — 3,438 — exceeds the 3,256 combat deaths that occurred among the U.S. and allies in Afghanistan.

While this is a national problem, there are also issues local to Texas as well. For example, went on to report that Crime Clean of Texas has seen a fifteen percent increase in total suicides in 2012 and an increase in military suicides for the past 18 months.

The High Veteran Suicide Rate

The high veteran suicide rate is likely driven by many different factors. The San Antonio Express identifies possible causes of the rise in the military suicide rate, which include:

  • Repeated deployments which cause stress.
  • A shrinking military.
  • A slow economy upon return from deployment, which can make it difficult or impossible to find gainful employment.
  • Financial and relationship problems, especially on return from repeated or lengthy deployments.
  • Traumatic brain injuries and other wounds inflicted during combat.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A loss of identity when they are no longer engaged in active duty service or combat.
  • Difficulty reintegrating into their families and communities.

The military has recognized the problem and is trying to take steps to combat it. However, as a Navy spokesman acknowledged to the San Antonio Express, no one has yet found a way to solve the problem.

Education and outreach efforts are in place to try to stop the rising number of suicides, and the military has policies requiring follow-up care for veterans showing a high risk of suicide who are discharged from VA hospitals and facilities. However, ultimately those who are struggling with suicidal tendencies will need to get help from a qualified mental health professional who can properly diagnose and treat their conditions and provide help to prevent suicide. Mental health professionals must also be trained and equipped to spot signs of suicide and respond appropriately.

If you lost a loved  one to suicide, contact the Dallas Law Offices of Skip Simpson, dedicated to holding mental health counselors accountable. Call  214-618-8222.

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