Sunday, July 1, 2018

31% of known veterans committing suicide were Vietnam Veterans

Veterans Administration: Efforts continue to reduce vets' suicides
TRIB Live
JOE NAPSHA
June 28, 2018
“It is going to take a lot of public knowledge to educate people to get the care they need. We must focus on identifying the risks,” said McGraw, noting the VA does publicize its crisis services.

Despite their efforts to reach out and help veterans in crisis, the suicide rate among veterans remains about 20 a day, said a Veterans Affairs official in Pittsburgh.

“It's very disturbing. We want to make sure we do all we can to save a life. It's going to take a community to do that,” said Karin McGraw, medical center director for the VA in Pittsburgh, told about 30 veterans Wednesday.

They were gathered at the American Legion Post No. 344 in Jeannette for one of a series of town hall meetings the VA is holding in Western Pennsylvania to discuss the services the agency provides veterans.

“It is going to take a lot of public knowledge to educate people to get the care they need. We must focus on identifying the risks,” said McGraw, noting the VA does publicize its crisis services.

The VA has learned that more than one-half of the veterans who have committed suicide never got intervention from the VA for the available care, McGraw said.

They can phone the VA or go online to receive assistance, regardless of their discharge status or whether they are currently enrolled in the VA medical system, McGraw said.

“We're trying to maximize social media,” McGraw said.
The suicide rate among middle-age and older adult vets remain high, with about 65 percent of all veterans who committed suicide in 2014 age 50 or older. About 31 percent of the suicides were committed by Vietnam War-era veterans.
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