I think it's very important for the entire American population to be aware of the relationship between military service and suicide.
The risk of suicide among male U.S. veterans is double that of the general population, according to a study published Monday.
"We need to be more alert to the problem of suicide as a major public health issue and we need to do better screening among individuals who have served in the military, probe for their mental health risk as well as gun availability," said Dr. Mark S. Kaplan, professor of community health at Portland State University in Oregon, lead author of the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
After adjusting for a host of potentially compounding factors, including age, time of service and health status, the study showed that those who had been in the military were 2.13 times more likely to die of suicide over time.
At biggest risk were veterans who were white, those who had gone to college and those with activity limitations, according to the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
And all of us (yes, and that includes the government) need to be very sensitive to the needs of our veterans for a strong, reliable support system when they come home.