The top priority of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the health and well-being of all of our nation’s Veterans, including Veterans who have chosen not to enroll in, or are not eligible for, VA health care. As the largest integrated health care system in the country, VA is committed to providing timely access to high-quality, recovery-oriented mental health care that anticipates and responds to Veterans’ needs, such as treatment for PTSD, substance use disorders, depression, and suicidal ideation.
In 2014, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and rates of suicide in the U.S. general population are increasing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released in an April 2016 report indicated that between 1999 and 2014, suicide rates increased among the general population, for both males and females and for all ages. Regardless of suicide rates or the number of cases, one life lost to suicide is too many.