Tuesday , February 20 2024

VA Struggles Unlock The Reasons Behind High Risk Of Suicide Among Older Veterans

Much of the focus by the Veterans Health Administration has been on the growing number of younger veterans who commit suicide, in fact statistics show that elderly veterans kill themselves in larger numbers than other people the same age. Robert Neilson was drafted in 1961. He spent two years in the Army just before the Vietnam War. He was recently at the VA Hospital in San Diego as part of his treatment. Three years ago, the 76-year-old came into the VA after contemplating suicide. “That’s what really brought me into the emergency room. That wasn’t really the first time,” Neilson said. “Two months after I got out of the service, I attempted suicide.” After he got out of the Army, Neilson remembers going back home to New Jersey. He was standing on a subway platform watching a speeding train. “And I figured if I just hold my hands in the air, I could just let (the train) suck me in,” Neilson said. “Somebody shouted, “What are you doing?” And that was enough to snap me out of the trance,

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