An average of 18 veterans kills themselves each day, according to new statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs, revealing the serious problem the nation has with caring for those coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
About 950 ex-soldiers attempt suicide each month, with 7% being successful. Of those who survive their first try, 11% attempt to kill themselves again within nine months.
Of the 18 who die each day, only five are estimated to be under care from the VA. This fact has given military officials hope that if they are able to expand mental health services, the overall suicide rate may go down.
According to Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki, “Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans.” Veterans make up slightly more than 10% of the adult population of the United States.