Suicide rate among Veterans is alarmingly high - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Suicide rate among Veterans is alarmingly high

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Veterans Crisis Line phone number: 1-800-273-8255

Here's a sobering statistic - 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

But the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center says the number is probably even higher, because it does not account for overdoses or suicide by police.

The VA said a Soldier or Veteran's mental health state is what it really comes down to.

Depression, anxiety, PTSD and trying to come back into civilian life can all be triggers.

But the Medical Center is doing what it can to help bring the suicide rate down.

The Veteran's Suicide Program has been keeping track of these numbers for about 10 years.

The best thing families can do is look for symptoms.

If a person starts to drink more alcohol or use drugs, or if they're just not themselves, reach out.

The VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator said right now there is a tremendous spike in suicides in Veterans younger than 24.

But, there are lots of groups that will help.

The problem is people are not reaching out.

"Is that stigma out there? Certainly, but I think that a lot of groups are really, really working hard to destigmatize PTSD, depression, anxiety, any kind of mental illness. But it's really hard for a young soldier to ask for help for mental health issues." Said Janell Christenson, Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the VA.

Christenson said the Veterans Crisis Line is one of the best tools.

Especially if you do not know where to start to get help.

It is confidential and someone will answer the call any time of the day and it is open all year.

Veterans Crisis Line phone number: 1-800-273-8255

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