There's something missing from research on veteran suicides
December 26, 2017
There are countless studies that show the risk of suicide is higher among those who served in the military when compared to civilians.
The Department of Veteran Affairs recognizes this issue and is taking steps to better identify and support those who served who are at risk of taking their own life. While there is a large catalogue of research analyzing suicide rates of those who served in the military, many of these studies overlook key factors that could help policymakers understand the full scope of this issue and, in turn, develop more effective preventative programs.
Here are a few of the elements that researchers should be incorporating into their studies:
Death Certificates used by the CDC do not include all veterans. Some states have different rules. California and Illinois did not have "military service" on their death certificates, (bills passed this year to add it) so veterans committing suicide in those two states would not have been counted. California has over 2 million veterans and Illinois has over 700,000. Think about that how many more that would mean.
Some states do not include "military service" on death certificates unless the box where it has "war" is filled in. Humanitarian missions, deployment into Africa or other nations for non-combat missions would not be admissible.
Military suicides have also increased, yet do not seem to be even thought about for "honorable mention" within the "numbers" they do talk about. Guess they do not even know that they are two separate groups, although were among people willing to die to save lives but did not save their own.
Still the biggest thing that was missed in the above article is this from the VA. This chart shows how many deaths per day they knew about from the research.
Those numbers in 1999 were less than 2010. Keep in mind that since that time, we lost about 5 million veterans since WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans passed away.
Also since that time we managed to spend billions on "prevention" plus invested billions more in "raising awareness."
Add into all that the VA Crisis Line, Veterans Courts, getting homeless veterans off the streets, over 400,000 veterans charities, stunts and press coverage for talking about numbers as if that was supposed to do anyone any good.