Hug or reach out to a vulnerable veteran today if you can….
Why? If the veteran you reached out to is homeless, about to become homeless, or elderly, you may well have helped to save a life. What makes me believe that?
“Homelessness should be considered a primary risk factor for suicidality,” reports Dennis Culhane Ph.D., one of, if not the most respected researcher into homelessness of individuals unaccompanied by children in the United States.
In his chilling “Brief Report,” of his research project-based “Suicidality and the Onset of Homelessness: Evidence for a Temporal Association from VA Treatment Records,” he cites those records for his conclusion and includes the facts that lead to that conclusion. Those facts include:
“In 2014, an average of 20 veterans died from suicide each day, and only six of the 20 were users of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services. The risk of suicide is especially high among older veterans, who in 2014 accounted for approximately 65% of suicides among persons in the United States age 50 years or older.”
I am old as dirt and the VA has been underfunded for as long as I can remember. It’s long past time to keep our nation’s promises to those who put their lives on the line for us.