The statistics on veteran suicide are everywhere right now. That’s a good thing and a drastic shift from the quiet whispers that have rippled throughout the military community about this seriously stigmatized issue. The Department of Veteran Affairs released their 2019 Suicide Prevention Annual Report that put black and white numbers to a widespread problem that those working alongside active duty military and veterans were already seeing first hand: The rate of suicide among those who have served is rising — dramatically.
- The suicide rate for veterans in 2017 was 1.5 times higher than non-veterans
- There were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members in 2017, an average of 2.5 suicide deaths per day
- And just last month, three active duty Navy service members assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush died by suicide
We hope these numbers are as astounding to you as they are to all of us at Boot Campaign. But alarming stats don’t save lives. The question for all of America should be: What are we going to DO to change the trajectory?
There is no one thing that solves everything. What is needed is truly customized care that meets one veteran, one military family, where they are in the moment to address their individualized issues – not just their symptoms.
Boot Campaign’s network of qualified providers connects veterans with needed resources – and helps sustain gains made in treatment and training programs through long term case management and personal connection. We work closely with our veterans to coordinate individual and unique client care through nationally renowned specialty providers, drawing upon the entire spectrum of mental health, PTSD, TBI and comorbid needs.
Our Health & Wellness Program goal, and the staff we employ that are experts in veteran wellness, allow veterans to access the right resources no matter what their geographic location or the provider’s geographic location may be. We work hard because veteran wellness MATTERS.
When we thank veterans for their service often they respond quickly by saying, “You’re worth it.” It is our mission to ensure each veteran and family member we work with understands that their care is a priority for us, they as individuals are important, and ensure they know they too are “worth it.”
We know because of the myriad of factors playing into life’s ultimate end by suicide there is not a simple and straightforward answer on how to solve it. Whether veterans are seeking traditional medical care through the VA, through alternative means such as yoga or acupuncture, or leveraging a veteran service organization like Boot Campaign, ANY STEP a veteran takes towards acknowledging the need for assistance is a step in the right direction.
Their lives, their experiences, and their futures are worth so much to this nation, and to us personally. Our veterans are the very fabric of what makes America a free nation, a great nation, a nation admired and revered around the world.
If you are a veteran struggling to overcome the invisible wounds of war, there are many here willing to help. You are not alone; there are other veterans, other civilians, and other Americans struggling.
Reach out. Let us serve you with the honor, dignity and courage like you served us and The United States of America.
VETERANS IN CRISIS OR HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE — AND THOSE WHO KNOW A VETERAN IN CRISIS — CAN CALL THE VETERANS CRISIS LINE FOR CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, 365 DAYS A YEAR.
CALL 800-273-8255 AND PRESS 1, CHAT ONLINE AT VETERANSCRISISLINE.NET/CHAT OR TEXT TO 838255.