VA Studying Suicide Prevention In Veterans

Veterans

Whether gone for two months or two years, returning from combat is grueling.TRICARE offers behavioral health benefits for eligible beneficiaries who need it. A free streaming video or as a 2-DVD set on www.triwest.com offers advice from behavioral health experts who are also combat veterans and military families that have coped with effects of PTSD. (Courtesy photo illustration)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Suicide among veterans is 22 percent higher than for civilians of the same age, and broken out by gender, the rate is a startling 2.5 times higher for women. That’s according to the latest Department of Veterans Affairs data released this month. Now, the military used to have lower rates of suicide, but as that changed about a decade ago, the VA and the Pentagon started pouring resources into studying this problem. Now that push is yielding results, including a program at the VA to predict who might be at risk and to intervene before there is a crisis. Here’s more from NPR’s Quil Lawrence.

QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: More than a thousand times a week all over the country, targeted veterans are answering the phone and hearing something like this.

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