Veteran Suicide Essay

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What is suicide? Who does suicide affect? Haven’t we all at sometime in our life wondered what people would do if we were not there? The suicide stigma haunts many individuals of our society-- having suicidal thoughts; to seeing a loved one take their life early; to following through with a suicide attempt ourselves. I think the old saying that one life lost to suicide is one life too many is very insightful. As you can see, suicide affects everyone; however, I challenge you to have a deeper understanding of the rise of US Armed Forces suicide during our times of war. Are our Veterans at an increased risk of suicide or are they receiving the proper support and care to rule suicide out as an option?

As the 10th leading cause of death in the
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Slowly the VA’s efforts, as well as their cohorts, are attempting to alleviate some of the setbacks with returning soldiers and their families; however, suicide rates among Veterans returning from wars are still incrementally high. Without the proper changes to lifestyles or adaptations of care, we will continue to see this stable trend. When a Veteran returns home, they want to continue with their old traditions and resort to what they did prior to being deployed; however, this is usually not the case. As much as the Veteran tries, they have changed, as well as the people around them have changed. It has been shown that the suicide rate is the highest the first three years after leaving service. (Office of Public Health-VA, …show more content…
Suicide can be more prevalent if there is a family history of suicide or previous suicidal behavior. Suicide is higher if the Veteran has any substance or alcohol abuse history. A feeling of isolation, helpless, hopeless, or powerless can all be detrimental to the Veteran’s outlook. Along with the previous feelings, feelings of sadness, guilt and anger can build onto an already stressed Soldier. And of course, suicide is higher if there has been any previous trauma or abuse. Personal risk factors can gradually eat away at our veterans and spark suicidal tendencies.

Many environmental and social risk factors also play a role in Veteran suicide. If the Veteran comes home to job or financial loss, they could be devastated. A relational or social loss can be very taxing on any individual, IE: divorce. From a social risk factor, a lack of support and the inability to seek the required mental health and substance abuse treatments required due to stigma’s associated with seeking help don’t allow Veterans to cope with their needs. Environmental and social risk factors also add unneeded stress to our Veteran service

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