The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released its findings from the nation's most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the United States in which VA examined more than 55 million Veterans' records from 1979 to 2014 from every state in the nation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released its findings from the nation’s most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the United States in which VA examined more than 55 million Veterans’ records from 1979 to 2014 from every state in the nation. The effort advances VA’s knowledge from the previous report in 2012, which was primarily limited to information on Veterans who used VHA health services or from mortality records obtained directly from 20 states and approximately 3 million records. Compared to the data from the 2012 report, which estimated the number of Veteran deaths by suicide to be 22 per day, the current analysis indicates that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide.

The report concludes:

Approximately 65 percent of all Veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older.

Veterans accounted for 18 percent of all deaths from suicide among U.S. adults. This is a decrease from 22 percent in 2010.

Since 2001, U.S. adult civilian suicides increased 23 percent, while Veteran suicides increased 32 percent in the same time period. After controlling for age and gender, this makes the risk of suicide 21 percent greater for Veterans.

Since 2001, the rate of suicide among U.S. Veterans who use VA services increased by 8.8 percent, while the rate of suicide among Veterans who do not use VA services increased by 38.6 percent.

In the same time period, the rate of suicide among male Veterans who use VA services increased 11 percent, while the rate of suicide increased 35 percent among male Veterans who do not use VA services.

In the same time period, the rate of suicide among female Veterans who use VA services increased 4.6 percent while the rate of suicide increased 98 percent among female Veterans who do not use VA services

Remember, the VA suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For more information, contact Sandra Van Zant at the Veterans Service Office at 602 Strong Ave. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or call 365-3612.