Military and Veteran Suicide Rates

Military and Veteran Suicide Rates

Tomorrow we mark Veteran’s Day. And as we do so it seems important to reflect on the sacrifices our men and woman in uniform have made for us as country. It’s not just in heat of the battle that our soldiers are at risk. The rate of suicide is rising in both active duty members and also veterans.

According to a report from the Center for New American Security, a member of the military takes their life every 36 hours. For returned servicemen and women, the rates are even higher. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. And these are just the reported numbers. The true figures are likely to be higher. With thousands of troops due back from Iraq by the end of the year, tthe numbers may rise even more. Join us to discuss the toll the war is taking on men and women in uniform and what can be done to help those at risk.


Barbara Van Dahlen

founder and president of "Give an Hour," a non-profit organization which provides mental health care services to veterans and their families affected by the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; clinical psychologist

Dr. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie

M.D., chief medical officer, Department of Mental Health, former chief psychiatrist in the Army

Rajeev Ramchand

Center for Military Health Policy Research, RAND

Jan Kemp

National Mental Health Program Director for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.