Suicide among veterans highest in western U.S., rural areas

Social isolation, gun ownership and access to health care may be factors

 

By Hope Yen

Suicide among military veterans is especially high in the western U.S. and rural areas, according to new government data that show wide state-by-state disparities and suggest social isolation, gun ownership and access to health care may be factors.

The figures released Friday are the first-ever Department of Veterans Affairs data on suicide by state. It shows Montana, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico had the highest rates of veteran suicide as of 2014, the most current VA data available. Veterans in big chunks of those states must drive 70 miles or more to reach the nearest VA medical center.

The suicide rates in those four states stood at 60 per 100,000 individuals or higher, far above the national veteran suicide rate of 38.4.

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Posted by on September 18, 2017, With 0 Reads, Filed under Health, Veterans Affairs (VA). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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