A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, according to a study published Monday.
Military suicides have increased since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. In the fiscal year 2009 alone, 1,868 veterans of these wars have made suicide attempts, according to armytimes.com.
These staggering figures underscore the need for the VA to develop more mental-health programs and an accurate system for recording the number of veterans and service members who take their lives.
"America is losing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members," authors Dr. Margaret C. Harrell and Nancy Berglass concluded. "And as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow."
Faced with the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder, unemployment rates tipping 12 percent and a loss of the military camaraderie, many veterans report feeling purposeless upon returning home.