Veterans who are Hospitalized for Mental Illness Have Higher Suicide Risk

02 Nov 2014

Veterans, who have been hospitalized after suffering a mental health disorder, have a much higher risk of committing suicide. That increased suicide risk increases significantly in the year after they have been discharged from hospital.

According to a new study, the suicide rate in the American Army has increased significantly since 2004. Currently, the suicide rate for veterans is higher than the suicide rate for civilians. The researchers were able to identify some factors that were common in the 5% of soldiers that had that have the highest suicide risk. They found that these common factors included being male, criminal offenses, enlistment at a later age, a history of suicide attempts, weapons or firearms possession, and certain treatments for previous disorders including antidepressant prescriptions. According to the researchers, it is important to analyze these factors, and develop an algorithm that can be used to predict a veteran’s risk of suicide after he has been hospitalized for a mental health disorder.

Researchers analyzed more than 40,000 US veterans who were hospitalized after being diagnosed with a mental health disorder between 2004 and 2009. The year after they were discharged from the hospital, 68 of the soldiers who were analyzed in the study committed suicide.

For many veterans, returning home with mental health disorders was part of the experience of returning home combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many veterans have returned from these war zones with a high rate of psychiatric illnesses, including PTSD disorder, anxiety-related disorders and chronic depression.

Claiming disability benefits however, can be marked by a much more difficult and frustrating process than many veterans are prepared for. Get in touch with a California veterans’ disability benefits lawyer for help in filing your claim.