VANISHED: VA Pulls 2012 Suicide Data Report Off its Website

UPDATED: June 5, 2013

*VA has restored the link and public access to the 2012 Suicide Data Report.

VANISHED: VA Pulls 2012 Suicide Data Report Off its Website

by The Military Suicide Report
June 2, 2013

For reasons unknown, the Veterans Administration today suddenly pulled its latest report on veterans suicide data from its website.

The VA posted the following message at the URL link where the report was previously available to the public.

The message now in place of the report reads:

“VA Website Maintenance. Our Apologies, the site you are attempting to reach is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be back online as soon as possible.”

Janet Kemp, RN Ph.D. and Robert Bossarte, Ph.D., authors of the report, stated that at least 22 veterans per day were dying from suicide.

The report is titled “Suicide Data Report 2012,” and was released by VA’s public relations department on Feb. 1, 2013.

Some experts criticized the report as incomplete, citing its failure to include suicide statistics from the two states with the highest populations of veterans, California and Texas.

The elimination of these states suggests suicide numbers among veterans may be far greater than the 22 per day claimed in the 2012 report. VA cited veterans suicide data from only 21 of the 50 states in the report. VA spokespersons said the states missing from the report did not have suicide data on veteran populations available when the report was prepared.

There are an estimated 23.5 million living veterans in America. The majority of American veterans are aged above 50 years old, representing those who fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. There are an estimated 2.5 million veterans who have fought in the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Near 100,000 American veterans have taken their own lives through suicide since Sept. 11, 2001, according to statistical data available from both the VA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read recent news coverage of the Suicide Data Report 2012:

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/01/veterans-suicide/1883329/

Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/media-misleads-military-veterans-suicide-study-181500953.html

Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/01/va_report_22_veterans_commit_suicide_each_day_2/

Read the full report at the New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/02/us/suicide-statistics-from-the-department-of-defense.html?_r=0

4 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Veterans Disability Blog.

  2. Well as we all know-Dead vets don’t cost as much as those living into their golden years…

    Today of course we are pumping our troops and vets with any number of quick “one size fits all” quick fixes. One needs to look no further than the continued record setting troop suicide rates to know the effectiveness of these cookie cutter approaches. It’s time to start listening to our troops and applying what we already know which is unless you start helping them through the moral and spiritual injuries-you are only applying a band-aide to their wounds.

    Here are a couple of other quick fixes over past years used to “fix” soldiers…that I pulled from my ever expanding “You won’t this “stuff” file.

    Sep.1945 “Three lives saved by deadly nightshade”
    http://www.amazon.com/brightened-Nighshade-Douglass-shellshock-psychiatric/dp/images/B002TS32JW

    June 1945 “Needling Battle Jitters-Narcosynthesis-“reclaiming from their mental hells the pitiful combat faigue cases
    http://blog.modernmechanix.com/needling-battle-jitters/

    Mar 1922, Physical Culture Mag. Article “Milk Cured my Shell Shock” ….”One of the most deplorable, disheartening and distressing results of the war is our crop of cripples”
    http://blog.modernmechanix.com/milk-cured-my-nerve-shock/

  3. Nothing like government transparency is there…until there is a conflict between the politically motivated spin, and the facts/truth. In reality, having read the report back in Feb. when it was published, as well as checking a few other resources available to the public, it was no secret that the figure of 22 vets per day…, was based solely on just 21 States. True enough though that the bit about the missing suicide figures from the remaining 29 States was indeed tucked away and not close to being as obvious as one would expect-from a government that says it is committed to transparency.

    The fact that this has just been officially reported in the news-months after the misleading report had been published leads me to believe that the majority of our news sources are either too incompetent or worse too politically controlled to be counted on for real investigative reporting.

    But the full weight of the blame does not rest solely with the media. The weight should be heaviest on a citizenry that is too self-absorbed to bother being informed, and too divorced from the military and the negative consequences being faced by our serving military members, veterans and their families. Heaven forbid we ask the citizens who sent us to fight the wars of this nation to do much more than read a headline-and then ask the good Lutheran question “What does this mean?”.

    History is a stern task master. As history teaches, American citizens would be wise to rethink their relationship with the American citizens who serve in the military before the divide continues to widen between themselves and the military. Just about every troubling issue that we are seeing among those who are or have served is identical to the troubling issues of veterans/families of every war. If you want a quick validation of what has happened when America didn’t tend to the needs of their veterans I’ve included the names of several resources. There are many-many resources available that will provide citizens with critical insights. The best insights come from resources, and writings beginning with WWI. Though the invisible wounds of war have been documented and studied throughout history, I think it important to begin with WWI, because for both America and the UK it is during WWI where both countries finally began addressing the multiple human consequences of war.

    Homeward Bound: American Veterans Return from War-Taylor
    The Moral Treatment of Returning Veterans-Bernard Verkamp
    The Veteran Comes Back-Willard Waller
    Regeneration: Pat Barker
    DVD: Regeneration (based on Pat Barker’s book Regeneration)
    DVD Last Voices of WWI: A generation lost
    DVD Wartorn

  4. The VA has failed our Vets, returning Warriors and their families. They continue to Label & Drug them to Death. They are unable to contain their Behavioral Health Programs administered by Psychiatry and Psychology…currently giving out antipsychotic drugs like M & M’s without being conscious of the current research on the DSM & the long-term use of these chemicals. Come on Congress, do some investigation and protect our service members.

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