Mental health summit aims to prevent veteran suicide
SALT LAKE CITY — A V.A. Mental Health Summit in Utah is aimed at preventing veteran suicide, with the Office of Veterans Affairs saying around 20 vets take their own lives every day nationwide.
Analysts say there are two different age groups that are more susceptible to suicide: veterans over the age of 55 and vets under the age of 30.
Dr. Steven Allen is the PTSD Team Coordinator at the V.A. Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where the summit is being held.
“The numbers are skewed, that these tend to be younger veterans, which is a significant problem, and then older veterans as well,” Allen says.
He says depression, drug and alcohol use may all be factors in assessing someone’s risk for dying by suicide, but the issue is complex.
“Many of those veterans that have killed themselves, they’re not veterans that have been deployed,” he says. “The military, the Department of Defense, is working very hard right now to try and clarify what might be going on with that.”
Anyone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide should consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. There are additional resources available here.
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