Two decades of war have taken a tremendous toll on the mental health of our service members and veterans resulting in tragic and heartbreaking consequences – increased rates of suicide among those who have already sacrificed so much to protect our country’s freedom.
Consider the following devastating statistics:
- In 2021, research found that 30,177 active-duty personnel and veterans who served in the military after 9/11 have died by suicide, while only 7,057 service members were killed in military operations in those same 20 years. Therefore, the military suicide rate during that time was four times higher than the deaths that occurred because of military operations.
- According to the U.S. Veterans Administration, in 2014, an average of 20 veterans per day died by suicide.
- In April 2022, there was a string of suicides among sailors assigned to the same aircraft carrier, creating concerns about mental health issues in the military and the difficulties that service members face in seeking treatment.
Reducing the percentage of military suicides is a crucial focus for organizations that serve service members and veterans, including Homefront Military Network. Sadly, this is a monumental problem to tackle, but together we can make a tremendous impact and affect positive change.
One of the best ways to take care of our service members, veterans, and their families is by providing them with someone to talk to who can relate to their experiences. Communication is the key to helping service members adjust to civilian life and an essential way to ensure your brothers in arms stay safe and happy, both now and in the future.
Here are some resources to bookmark for yourself or to share with a loved one:
Military Benefit Foundation: The Military Benefit Foundation is a non-profit organization that assists military families by providing suicide prevention for veterans, assistance for families of veteran suicides, and veteran employment assistance.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline recognizes that among those who have served or are serving, a mental health crisis can be heightened by military experiences. If you’re a veteran or service member and are in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline is a national network of over 200 local crisis centers that combines local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
Military One Source: Military One Source is a Department of Defense-funded resource for information, answers, and support for military service members and their families, including a Military Crisis line that connects those in need to professional counselors, 24/7, at no cost.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a variety of suicide prevention resources for veterans in crisis or those who are concerned about loved ones.
Military.com: Military.com is a news and resource website for military members, veterans, and their families, including a veterans’ crisis hotline for current and former military members who need immediate mental health assistance.
Military Crisis Line/Veterans Crisis Line: The Military Crisis Line/Veterans Crisis Line provides free confidential support for veterans in crisis or for those who are concerned about one.
Homefront Military Network connects active-duty service members, veterans, and their families to resources and emergency financial assistance through our trusted community partners. Contact us for more information.