“All this means right now is that we have better information than we had before,” Gallucci said.
Veterans accounted for 18 percent of all suicides among U.S. adults in 2014, down from 22 percent in 2010.
Certain groups faced more problems compared to civilians. Older veterans face a higher risk of suicide, data showed. The risk of suicide is more than two times higher for female veterans than it is for female civilians.
Gallucci isn’t sure why. “There (are) some misconceptions about suicide in the veteran community, and one is that it is strictly a problem for younger veterans,” Gallucci said. “But when you are talking about problems with either family or financial issues, this can affect older veterans as well.”
The VA said preventing suicide is a top priority. The agency is adding psychologists, adding more employees to the Veterans Crisis Line and making it easier for a veteran calling a local VA clinic to connect with the suicide hotline.
The Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255. Veterans can also send a text message to 838255 to get help immediately.