22 Veterans a day commit suicide. This equates to one veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes and a total of over 8,000 committing suicide a year. The suicide rate among veterans is nearly double the rate seen among the general population in America.
This needs to change. We need better programs to reintroduce veterans to civilian life when returning home from both combat and non-combat positions.
We are asking for a “Reverse Bootcamp” program to be put into effect that will help transition all service members to post-military life, which would include things such as:
- Mandatory, confidential behavioral health evaluation with a clinical behavioral health provider.
- Potential required participation in individual and group therapy sessions or programs based on the outcome to #1.
- Education program to prepare service members for their life beyond the military, including providing them with resources for jobs and training.
- Career counseling services and programs both before, during, and after the transition.
- Mentor or coach to be a part of the transition process and to provide support for at least one year after military departure.
- Have a post-separation plan and schedule that they work on with their mentor and that includes information to all relative local resources. This includes plans for family, education, health, and employment.
- Provide service member’s families with homecoming preparedness and training and give them access to resources to help welcome their service member home and help them complete the transition.
Help us tell the Department of Veteran Affairs that we care about our Veterans and that this suicide rate is unacceptable.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420