WASHINGTON – A new government analysis shows a sharp increase in the suicide rate among the youngest male veterans and a smaller jump among women who served in the military.
However, the Department of Veterans Affairs says there was "no clear change" in the overall suicide rate among all veterans using VA health facilities.
Dr. Jan Kemp, who oversees suicide prevention efforts at the VA, says the numbers are alarming, particularly for male veterans in their early 20s. She said too many younger veterans don't seek treatment for longer-term mental health issues.
The department said the suicide rate increased nearly 44 percent for male veterans between the ages of 18-29 from 2009 to 2011. During the same period, the rate among female veterans increased more than 11 percent.