Mississippi veteran suicide rates higher than national average - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi veteran suicide rates higher than national average

Veterans Affairs reports that 20 veterans take their lives in this country each day. Source: WLBT Veterans Affairs reports that 20 veterans take their lives in this country each day. Source: WLBT
According to the latest data from 2014, 74 Mississippians committed suicide. Source: WLBT According to the latest data from 2014, 74 Mississippians committed suicide. Source: WLBT
Medical professionals at the Jackson VA want veterans to reach out to them before contemplating suicide. Source: WLBT Medical professionals at the Jackson VA want veterans to reach out to them before contemplating suicide. Source: WLBT
Officials say the highest rate of suicide among veterans is in the age group of 55 to 74 years old. Source: WLBT Officials say the highest rate of suicide among veterans is in the age group of 55 to 74 years old. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On Memorial Day, we mourned the loss of fallen service members, but there is a crisis among veterans. 

Veterans Affairs reports that 20 veterans take their lives in this country each day.

Medical professionals at the Jackson VA want veterans to reach out to them before contemplating suicide. 

"From time to time I have attempted to take a drug overdose," said one Mississippi veteran we will call Ann.

She has attempted suicide more than once.

It followed depression and a feeling of worthlessness while serving in the Coast Guard stationed at Cape May, New Jersey.

"I was assaulted and raped in boot camp and every time I would want to go and get some services, to get some help, wouldn't nobody help me," said Ann.

She said pride kept her from seeking help.

It was not until 2014 that the 58-year-old began treatment at the VA Medical Center.

According to the latest data from 2014, 74 Mississippians committed suicide. 

The average rate is 42.4 percent, higher than the national average of 38.4 percent.

Officials say the highest rate of suicide among veterans is in the age group of 55 to 74 years old.

"I would want somebody to give us a chance to earn their trust so that we could help them," said VA Medical Center Director Dr. David Walker.

The psychiatrist and hospital director said the VA offers treatment programs, medications and mental health services with psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to help veterans cope.

"Suicide impacts all those that are around and often times when one is really depressed, they might not fully appreciate the impact that it would have," said Walker.   

"Don't be down and out all the time. There are better days ahead for you," Ann added. "Just ask for help and people will help you."

The VA Crisis Line  is 1-800-273-8255 or you can text 838-255.

The VA website also has a confidential chat line.

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