• Oct 23, 2020
  • 2:40 PM

Suicide Prevention – Statistics

According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (PDF), Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

  • 17 veterans die by suicide and 2-3 active service members die by suicide each day.
  • The number of Veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to 2017.
  • Among U.S. adults, the average number of suicides per day rose from 86.6 in 2005 to 124.4 in 2017. These numbers included 15.9 Veteran suicides per day in 2005 and 16.8 in 2017.
  • In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population
    differences in age and sex.
  • Firearms were the method of suicide in 70.7% of male Veteran suicide deaths and 43.2% of female Veteran suicide
    deaths in 2017.
  • In addition to the aforementioned Veteran suicides, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members in 2017, an average 2.5 suicide deaths per day.

Suicide prevention is a national priority and VA is dedicated to this mission. While the data in this report extends only through 2017, since that time VA has continued to work actively in partnership with the White House, Congress, Veterans Health Administration networks, and federal and community partners to address the issue of Veteran suicide. The most recent and notable manifestation of this comprehensive approach to Veteran suicide prevention is the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS), mandated by an executive order signed by the President in March 2019. A cabinet-level task force has been launched to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, which will include proposals and plans addressing integration and collaboration across sectors, a national research strategy, and a cohesive implementation strategy.