Women Veteran Suicides happening at the Same Rate as Men Veterans

This is an Op-Ed written by Shad Meshad who is the Founder and co-author of the Vet Center Program and Founder of the National Veterans Foundation. It was written a month or so ago, and its worth your time to read and absorb.

Veteran suicide rates are incredibly high and women veterans are committing suicide at exactly the same rates as men veterans. If you know a veteran who is in need of help, you can call:

The Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or LifeLine for Vets at 1-888-777-4443.

Read the Full article:
Probably Not the Kind of Equality Women Had in Mind

22 per day–the suicide rate for veterans–not just male veterans. Women veterans commit suicide at the same rate as their male counterparts. Bet you never thought of that. I’ll bet when you think of veteran suicide, you picture a man, right? Those are the images we see in the media, but more than 200,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Plenty of these women have seen combat. They’re pilots, special ops, attached to engineer units, intel gatherers: they see and do everything their brothers-in-arms do.

Here at the National Veterans Foundation we get calls from women vets and their families. Coming home for them is, in some ways, different. According to Kristine Hesse, our women veterans coordinator, women are not as likely to self-identify as vets. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, writing in the Los Angeles Times on June 11, said the same thing. Women veterans move from a certain invisibility in the military straight into another kind of invisibility here at home. Lemmon tells a story of a female vet who got a nasty note on her windshield when she parked in a spot reserved for veterans.

When we do think of women vets, it’s often as victims of military sexual trauma, MST, an issue for many women (and also men) in the armed forces. Our crisis hotline LifeLine for Vets has fielded calls from women struggling with the aftermath of MST. The VA is trying to offer more services tailored to women and to increase awareness of female vets, but progress is slow and the women vets mistrustful, often because of biased thoughtlessness. A Navy vet reported that the VA insisted on referring to her as “Mister.”

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter