In 2016, the most recent year for which the VA has reported data, veterans were committing suicide at a rate of 30.1 deaths per 100,000 vets, compared to an overall national rate of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 people. Experts and veterans groups came together to discuss what can be done about the ever-worsening problem.
Arizona was one of seven states that met with federal officials and veterans groups in Washington recently to map out a strategy for reversing the complex problem of suicides among vets. The problem is real in Arizona, which had the sixth-highest veteran suicide rate in the nation in 2016, due in part to the state’s aging veteran population and the wide-open spaces that make access to behavioral services difficult. (Vedantam, 2/24)
In other news —
The Department of Veterans Affairs released rules for a law that changes how the VA pays for outside, private care. Critics say the move is a stealth effort to privatize the VA. (Lawrence, 2/22)
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