22 veterans commit suicide every day. That number is 22 too high, and I commit to decreasing it at least by half by the end of my first term as President.
Providing all other services to increase the stability veterans feel, and ensuring a successful transition to civilian life, should help decrease veteran suicide. But there’s more we can do to combat this scourge.
Treatment doesn’t work if its not sought out. 80% of veterans cite embarrassment or shame as a barrier to asking for mental health treatment. We need to combat this by destigmatizing veteran treatment. It can start with an initiative to identify high-ranking veterans who received mental health treatment to speak to these issues publicly, and it can continue with information provided during the Reverse Boot Camp.
We also need to increase the funding and reach of crisis lines to ensure that any veteran has immediate access to individuals who can direct them to mental health services, or to a mental health professional who can provide immediate counseling and treatment.
Finally, as gun suicide disproportionately affects veterans, we should provide free gun safes/storage for all veterans, which has been shown to significantly reduce suicide risk.
(Read Andrew’s full policy of Veteran Assistance here.)
There are many issues unique to the veteran community that we need to address. The transition to civilian life should be smoother, and we need to put more support structures in place. Public misconceptions have lead to issues with employment. Homelessness is a perennial problem, and the VA - especially the Veterans Health Administration - can do much more to improve the well-being of those who have served. These heroes protect and serve us during their tenure, but they come home to a quick thank you and an economy that isn’t set up to help them succeed. We owe them more than a handshake.
Problems to be Solved
- 22 veterans commit suicide every day
- Mental health
- Drastically decrease the veteran suicide rate
As President, I will…
Implement many policies to increase the stability veterans feel, and assist in their transition to civilian life
Invest in veteran mental health, and improve funding to crisis helplines
Create an initiative to have senior members of the military discuss their own battles with mental health issues, and the treatment they received, to destigmatize it
Provide all veterans with gun storage lockers