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Suicide Rate Among Younger Veterans Has Increased, VA Data Shows

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Suicide Rate Among Younger Veterans Has Increased, VA Data Shows
​Younger veterans were the only age group whose suicide rate increased from 2015 to 2016, according to the VA.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Despite a decline in the suicide rate among all veterans, more and more younger veterans are dying by suicide.

New data from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows the suicide rate among veterans between 18 and 34 was the highest of all age groups, jumping from 40.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2015 to 45 per 100,000 in 2016. Younger veterans were the only age group whose suicide rate increased from 2015 to 2016. With that being said, veterans 55 and older had the largest share of suicide deaths in 2016, making up 58.1 percent of all veteran suicides.

Although the suicide rate among all veterans did fall between 2015 and 2016, it was still 1.5 percent higher than the rate among non-veteran adults.

There were more than 6,000 veteran suicides each year from 2008 to 2016. Nearly 70 percent of veteran suicide deaths in 2016 were by firearm, compared to 48 percent of U.S. suicides overall.

For free and confidential support from a trained counselor, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.