Instead of the issue getting better, many officials have reported that it is simply a different statistic because the VA had a more comprehensive database than ever before, to pull results from. Rather than a decrease being emphasized many are reinstating that the 20 a day is simply a more accurate depiction.
Dr. David Shulkin is the undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin has shared with specific news outlets that the data that was used for the very latest suicide projections specifically came from every single state and U.S. territory. Shulkin also reported that it was the largest analysis of veteran records that had ever been taken by the department. Their results certainly reflect the most accurate rate to date.
Shulkin was quoted saying,
“Twenty a day is not that different from 22…It is far too high”.
This information comes at a times when the amount of veterans seeking medical care has increased immensely especially in regards to veterans that have returned from conflicts in theMiddle East.
The data that the VA has collected has continually shown that it is actually older veterans that make up a majority of the suicides. It has been estimated that it is actually about two-thirds all veterans who had committed suicide were at least 50 or older.
It also appears that the risk for suicide is 2.4 times higher for female veterans than it is for female civilians.
Shulkin has made it a point that preventing suicide needs to be the VA’s top priority.