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OCT 04, 2018
Recent updates to the VA National Suicide Data Report 2005-2016 show an immediate need to focus on suicide within the military community.
The VA found alarming increases in veterans ages 18-34, women, and former servicemembers who were never federally activated as part of their National Guard or Reserve duties.
“VA's latest statistics make clear that much work remains in order to prevent suicide among our service members and veterans,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, president and CEO of MOAA. “Although this is a complex issue, leaders in and outside of government are uniquely situated to intervene in times of crisis.”
MOAA salutes Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) for introducing resolutions to raise awareness of suicide as a public health concern and to make September National Suicide Prevention Month. MOAA asks others on Capitol Hill to consider legislation to assist service members and veterans who remain at risk of committing suicide.
“Each of us must do our part to change this trend,” Atkins said. “Let's not underestimate the impact we can have on one another. If you are a veteran who is struggling, or if you know one, don't hesitate to contact the VA Crisis Line for help.”
For information on the VA Crisis Line, visit the VA website.