Why Should We Make Vet Mental Health a Priority? Because One Dies by Suicide Every 65 Minutes

Connecting soldiers to mental health resources might be the best way to thank them for serving.
Apr 3, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Our veterans put their lives on the line so that we can go about the business of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But after they come home, because of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues, that same pursuit of happiness is elusive for many soldiers. That can make their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, a nightmare. As we saw from Wednesday's horrific shooting at Fort Hood, veteran mental health challenges can snatch away someone else's life too.

Thanks to enduring societal stigmas about mental illness, it's tough for vets to admit they're suffering from PTSD or other issues. When they do ask for support, too often the help isn't there. The result is tragedy and heartbreak for many American families: One veteran dies by suicide every 65 minutes. But as this infographic collaboration among TakePart; our sister network, Pivot; and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America shows, providing resources helps save thousands of livesproving that one of the best ways to thank soldiers for serving is to take care of their mental health.

Combating Military and Veteran Suicide and Supporting Mental Health Care