Veterans Day – A Day of Awareness and Honor
Veterans Day is a federal holiday recognized on November 11th, a day that marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. The day is used to acknowledge and honor those who have served our country through the darkest of times. However, recent studies reveal that military suicides have risen by 15% over the past year. This is a chilling number, and it is following years of mental health concerns in military personnel and veterans. Questions arise such as “Why is this happening?” and “What can we do to help?”
Suicide in the Military
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. However, this jumps to the second leading cause of death in the military. Veteran suicides make up around 15% of all suicides here, though the veteran population makes up less than 10% of the U.S. population.
It is very difficult to pinpoint the cause of suicide because it results from very personal, deep problems. We can never fully understand why someone chooses to commit such an action. However, issues within the military community, such as higher rates of PTSD, brain injury, sleeping problems, relationship strain, etc. could all be variables that lead a person to attempt or commit suicide.
How to Help
Although we cannot completely understand what leads a person toward suicide, we can promote awareness and help lead individuals away from suicide. It is important to identify the warning signs of suicide including:
- Talking about wanting or brainstorming ways to die/kill themselves
- Withdrawal from normal activities/isolation
- Reckless actions
- Extreme mood swings
- Feeling they have no purpose
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
These are just a few of the possible warning signs of suicide. If you or someone you love is displaying signs of suicide, it is imperative to get professional help immediately. Suicidal thoughts are not something to try to fix yourself or be ashamed of – help is out there. Contact us at Mental Health Center at Destination Hope if you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts. We are equipped with experienced professionals who want to help you regain your mental health. You are not alone.