Did you know that in 2012 there were more military deaths by suicide than by combat? Unfortunately, veterans represent 20% of the suicides in the United States despite only making up 10% of the population. To bring awareness to this critical mental health problem, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) put out this educational new infographic and public service announcement video with former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
The pretty sobering and chilling graphic shows that military suicides are at their highest rate in 10 years. This is likely because 8% to 20% of all military personnel that were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan experienced a traumatic brain injury which has been linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. So when these veterans return home, we need to do a better job of supporting them and providing treatment quicker.
A Healthy Minds Minute for Veterans & Families from American Psychiatric Association
In hopes of educating the public about this major mental health issue and finding a way to help our veterans get the treatment they need, Patrick Kennedy says:
When our troops return from their tours of duty, the homecoming isn’t always a happy one. Many of our brave men and women in uniform come home with invisible wounds caused or exacerbated by the psychological stress of deployment. Last year, more U.S. military members died by suicide than from combat… Unfortunately, stigma prevents our troops from getting the mental health care that they need. More than 60 percent of military members who need help suffer in silence because they believe that seeking treatment for mental health concerns would have at least some negative impact on their career. There is no reason that any military member or veteran should suffer in silence
Source: American Psychiatric Association