February 1, 2013

VA report: 22 veterans commit suicide each day

Kevin Freking / The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A new report finds that the number of veterans who commit suicide each day is about 20 percent higher than the Department of Veterans Affairs has previously estimated, but the problem doesn't appear to be getting worse for veterans compared to the rest of the country.

Indeed, the overall percentage of suicides by veterans has declined over the years. VA researchers say the trend suggests their efforts to reduce suicide among veterans may be having an effect.

About 22 veterans committed suicide each day in 2010. Previous estimates from the VA put the number at 18.

While much attention has been paid to suicides by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, the report indicates the problem is worse among older veterans. Most veterans who commit suicide are over age 50.

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