” After wide-spread criticism from the MSO/VSO community, the VA has officially released the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. According to the VA in a press release made public this morning, the VA “found no significant increases in the Veteran suicide rate from 2017-2018 – however, there were positive trends related to VA health care and suicide prevention efforts overall.”
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- The age- and sex-adjusted rate among Veterans was not significantly different in 2018 (27.5 per 100,000) than in 2017 (27.3 per 100,000).
- From 2017 to 2018, the average number of Veteran suicides per day rose from 17.5 to 17.6.
- The annual total number of Veteran suicide deaths increased by 36 from 2017 to 2018, an increase of 0.6% (from 6,399 in 20172 to 6,435 in 2018), while the Veteran population fell by 1.5% (from 20.4 million to 20.1 million).
- Between 2017 and 2018, the age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans with recent VHA use decreased by 2.4%, while among Veterans who did not use VHA care the rate increased by 2.5%.
- For VHA patients diagnosed with depression, the suicide rate decreased from 2005 to 2018, from 72.9 per 100,000 to 66.4 per 100,000. The 2018 suicide rate was an increase from 2017, with 65.1 per 100,000.
- For VHA patients diagnosed with anxiety, the suicide rate decreased from 2005 to 2018, from 83.1 per 100,000 to 67.0 per 100,000. The 2018 suicide rate was an increase from 2017, with 65.6 per 100,000.
- In 2018, VHA patients with any mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis had a suicide rate of 57.2 per 100,000, compared with 58.6 per 100,000 in 2005 and 57.9 per 100,000 in 2017.
- The ratio of suicide rates among VHA-engaged Hispanic4 male Veterans, compared to those among Hispanic male U.S. adults, was lower in 2018 than in 2017
The report can be found here: National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report 11-2020-508