How vital are veteran suicide prevention projects? The facts you need to know

The VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide, has had an enormous impact on veteran suicide rates since it was launched in 2018. We’ll get into the numbers below, but here’s a quick example:

In 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), there were 343 fewer veteran suicide deaths than in 2019. In total, 2020 saw 6,146 veteran suicide deaths, the lowest number of any year since 2006.

This is encouraging for the military community, as it shows us that programs like the National Strategy can help to prevent tragedies. Below, we’ll share some more statistics from the VA’s 2022 National Suicide Prevention Annual Report that signify the immense value of veteran suicide prevention projects

Veteran suicide statistics on a downward trend

Let’s look at some key figures from the Annual Report:

  • From 2001 to 2018, veteran suicides increased by an average of 47 deaths each year. Deaths decreased by 307 in 2019 and by 343 in 2020.
  • Between 2018 and 2020, veteran suicide rates decreased by 9.7% whereas they decreased by 5.5% for non-veteran adults.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, the age-adjusted suicide rate decreased by 0.7% among veteran men and by 14.1% among veteran women.
  • Veteran suicide rates decreased between 2019 and 2022 for all race groups.
  • Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (which some experts predicted would increase suicide deaths), rates decreased by 4.8% among veterans from 2019 to 2020.

How do veteran suicide prevention projects help?

The VA’s National Strategy treats veteran suicide as a public health issue and uses this evidence-based framework to, in their words, “address multiple risk factors for suicide and prevent suicidal thoughts and behaviors from occurring.”

This framework includes:

  • Creating organizations and initiatives to help veterans stay physically and mentally healthy, such as the VA App Store found here: VA App Store | VA Mobile.
  • Investing in communication efforts to promote mental health among veteran populations. This includes access to the Veterans Crisis Line, which can be reached by dialing 988 and pressing 1 or texting 838255. 
  • Increasing public knowledge around veteran suicide and the unique factors that affect veteran mental health.

While reduced suicide rates are a success to be celebrated, as an organization that takes a zero-suicide approach, Valor believes that even one veteran death by suicide is too many. In order to continue this progress, we fully support the VA’s ongoing increased investments in such programs. 

Valor Healthcare is committed to veteran mental health

Valor Healthcare is the largest contracted provider of outpatient healthcare services for veterans. We are a veteran-founded healthcare organization that provides whole healthcare services to veterans and other patriots, and we take pride in delivering world-class services. We were one of the first community-based outpatient clinics to be accredited for ambulatory care by the Joint Commission and continue to focus on quality across all our lines of business. 

Valor Healthcare is a team made up of veterans and leading clinicians. We are passionate about making resources available to those who have served our country. Valor was first established in 2004, when an Army veteran and a Navy veteran joined together to create something they both believed in — good-quality outpatient care for veterans. 

Interested in the types of services a veteran-focused health consultant company can provide? We specialize in each of the following:

  • Outpatient clinic operations.
  • Occupational health.
  • Behavioral health.
  • Population health.
  • Value-added services.

Would you benefit from vocational rehabilitation or any of the services listed above? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for guidance. Valor Healthcare partners with public and private medical clinics to bring high-quality healthcare to American veterans. Partner with us to give your patients access to data-driven, 21st-century care.