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September 13, 2023

How Many Vets Have Committed Suicide? What Are the Causes of This Problem?

For many service members transitioning back into civilian life, suffering in silence can lead to an unimaginable tragedy that affects not just them but their loved ones as well. Suicide among veterans is a heartbreaking and sobering reality.

Veteran Car Donations zeroes in on this subject by pointing out the latest estimates on the suicide rates among veterans, the root causes of this problem, and what we can do to put a stop to this alarming trend.


Alarming Suicide Rates Among Veterans

The statistics on veteran suicide rates are truly alarming. According to estimates by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an average of 17 veterans take their own lives each day. It also pointed out that the suicide rate among female veterans is nearly 2.5 times higher than among female civilians.

However, a study released in 2022 showed that the figures were far higher than the VA estimates. It showed that as many as 44 veterans die on any given day from suicide. This was 2.4 times greater than the official VA estimate.

The suicide rate is higher among certain groups of veterans, such as those who recently returned from deployment, those who have experienced military sexual trauma, and those who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Here are other startling facts about veteran suicides as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • In 2020, suicide was listed as the 13th leading cause of death among veterans overall, and the second leading cause of death among veterans under age 45.
  • Veterans have an adjusted suicide rate that is 57.3% greater than the non-veteran U.S. adult population.
  • Veterans account for about 13.9% of suicides among adults in the United States.

These numbers are not just statistics; they represent real people who endured sacrifices and risked their lives in service to our country.


Root Causes of Suicides in Veterans

it’s only in the last few years that research is gaining insight into the prevalence of suicide among our former service members.

Many factors contribute to the high suicide rates among veterans. Some of the most common ones include the following:

  1. Mental health issues

Many veterans suffer from mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions are usually triggered by recollections of their traumatic experiences during their deployment in conflict zones overseas, bringing feelings of hopelessness and despair.

  1. Substance abuse

Substance abuse is another common issue faced by veterans. Many of them have turned to drugs as a way to cope with the stress and trauma of military service. This has led to addiction and other negative consequences like suicide.

  1. Chronic pain

Many of our former troops experience chronic pain as a result of injuries sustained during their service. Not only do they find themselves having to live with the pain, but it also affects their ability to function and engage in everyday activities. This contributes to mental health issues.

  1. Financial instability

Finding employment after returning home from service is something many of our retired soldiers struggle with. With little to no experience in the civilian workforce and lacking education and skills, they couldn’t land decent jobs despite their best efforts to make an impression.

  1. Social isolation

Veterans who have trouble reintegrating into civilian life may feel socially isolated. This is especially true for those who have experienced traumatic events during their service, making it challenging for them to relate to others who have not experienced the same. Social isolation can contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression, which can increase the risk of suicide.


Simple Ways to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

So, what can we do to help prevent suicide among veterans? Here are some simple yet effective ideas:

  1. Reach out to a troubled veteran.

If you know a veteran who may be struggling with mental health or other issues, reach out to them and let them know you’re there for them. You don’t have to be an expert to help someone in need.

Find a private and safe place where you can talk openly with the veteran. This could be their home, a quiet park, or a private room in a community center. Start the conversation by expressing your concern and asking directly if they’re thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to ask, but it’s important to be straightforward so they’ll realize that you genuinely care.

  1. Listen without judgment

Sometimes, all a troubled veteran needs is somebody to listen to them. Be there to lend an ear and provide emotional support. Allow them to talk openly and honestly about their feelings without judging or criticizing them. Tell them that you’re more than eager to listen to them and provide support.

Make sure to validate their feelings as well. Explain that their feelings are valid and that it’s normal to experience difficult emotions. Reassure them that they’re not weak or a burden for seeking help.

  1. Offer resources

Encourage a troubled veteran to seek professional help if needed. Tell them about the Veterans Crisis Line (dial 988 then press 1, or text 838255, or chat online) where they can connect with trained professionals who can provide them with support and resources. Give them phone numbers and websites of organizations that can help them, and other useful information to make it easier for them to seek assistance.

  1. Support veteran organizations

Many organizations provide support and resources to veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the American Legion. Support these organizations through donations or volunteer work.

  1. Be mindful of signs

Know the signs of suicide, such as changes in behavior, withdrawal, and talk of suicide. If you notice these signs from a veteran, take action and seek help for them.


Donate a Car to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

Here’s a simple way to help veterans who have suicidal tendencies and those burdened with other woes: Donate a vehicle you no longer need to us at Veteran Car Donations. We’ll use your donation to better the lives of the struggling veterans in your local community, including those who may be at risk of suicide.

Our team will auction off your car and hand over the proceeds to our veteran-focused charity partners. These IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are dedicated to helping veterans who are suffering from serious health issues, including mental disorders, as well as those who are homeless and impoverished, unable to find jobs, and living with service-connected disabilities.

Our charity partners use the funding we give them to provide their beneficiaries with free psychotherapy services, health care and medical treatment, housing and financial assistance, employment and livelihood opportunities, family support, and many other services meant to improve their living conditions.

In exchange for your kindness, you’ll have the privilege of enjoying our fast and free towing service, which is available to our donors anywhere in the United States. You’ll also be entitled to claim the highest possible tax deduction in the next tax-filing season.

However, the best reward you’ll get for your charitable contribution is the priceless joy of knowing that you’re doing something that can transform the lives of the hurting veterans in your community.

Since we accept nearly all vehicle types, feel free to donate your car, truck, van, RV, motorcycle, or any specialty vehicle regardless of its age and condition.

You can check out our FAQs page to get to know our quick and convenient donation process and other important details you may want to know about Veteran Car Donations. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to call us at 877-594-5822 or message us here.


Help Save the Life of a Despondent Veteran Today!

Something as simple as making a vehicle donation to us can leave a lasting impact on the lives of our needy veterans. It can even save the life of one who may be contemplating suicide. Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!

Veteran Car Donations operates in all 50 states.

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