The Veterans Administration’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) has recently announced a new initiative to reduce the rate of suicide by veterans across the country. Described as a “community-focused health model,” this new initiative is part of the National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide, announced earlier this year, which calls upon local communities to become more involved in caring for veterans, particularly those struggling with mental health issues as a result of their service. This initiative seeks to coordinate with local stakeholders to help veterans and make sure they have community support whenever they suffer from suicidal thoughts.
Sadly, according to the VA National Suicide Data Report, there were more than 6,000 veteran suicides every year from 2008 to 2016. That places suicide rates among veterans at about one and a half times greater than the general populace, after controlling for age and gender. This initiative seeks to address the perennial problem of suicide among veterans, in part by acknowledging that “no single agency can prevent Veteran suicide,” according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
Remember, it is not a weakness to seek help when you need it, and after serving your country faithfully, it’s time for your country to serve you. If you or anyone you know is a veteran suffering from thoughts of suicide or depression, please call 800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
If you have questions about veterans’ disability benefits, please contact Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on veteran disability law. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.