VA Releases 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

VA released the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report,
which includes findings from its most recent analysis of 2005?2017
suicide rates for both Veteran and non-Veteran populations.

Data from the report emphasizes that suicide is a public health problem
impacting Veterans and non-Veterans across the nation. VA offers within
this report a renewed and determined call to unrelentingly address the
crisis of Veteran suicide.


* From 2005 to 2017, suicides among all U.S. adults increased by 43.6
percent, while suicides among Veterans increased by 6.1 percent.
* America?s non-Veteran population is increasing while its Veteran
population is decreasing over time.
* The number of Veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to
* In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for
non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population differences in age
and sex.
* Firearms were the method of suicide in 70.7% of male Veteran suicide
deaths and 43.2% of female Veteran suicide deaths in 2017.
* In addition to the aforementioned Veteran suicides, there were 919
suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and
Reserve members in 2017, an average 2.5 suicide deaths per day.

One key change from this year?s report is that it does not group
together Veterans eligible for VA services with active duty service
members and former National Guard and Reserve members who were never
federally activated. This change was necessary because these groups are
unique and do not all qualify for the same benefits and services,
therefore they require individualized outreach strategies.

Moving forward, VA?s report will include a separate section focusing
on never federally activated former Guard and Reserve members, while the
Department of Defense will publish a separate report focusing on
active-duty suicides.

The most recent data, from 2017, is being used to inform and evaluate
VA?s suicide prevention initiatives in 2019. Not all Veterans have
the same risk for suicide, and prevention efforts are most effective
when they are matched to a Veteran?s level of risk. The comprehensive
data analyses presented in the report enables VA to better address
suicidal behaviors among Veterans at various levels of risk.

Veteran suicide prevention is the top clinical priority for VA. With the
release of the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report,
VA urges all Americans to come together to address the larger societal
issues fueling the increased rates of suicide in our nation. We can
prevent suicide through meaningful connection, one person at a time.

To read more about the most recent Veteran suicide data from 2017, as
well as current VA initiatives to prevent Veteran suicide, please see
the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, available

Some examples of VA’s suicide prevention resources and programs

* Expanding the Veterans Crisis Line to three call centers and more than 700 employees, increasing our ability to provide 24/7 support.
* Launching the S.A.V.E. online suicide prevention video to help everyone play a role in preventing Veteran suicide.
* Implementing the Mayor?s Challenge [5] to empower cities nationwide to build coalitions to prevent Veteran suicide.
* Partnering with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as mandated by Executive Order 13822 [6], to support Veterans during their transition from military to civilian life.


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