CU-Boulder works to confront rising veteran suicide rate

Tim Goral's picture
Monday, January 27, 2014

The number of young veterans committing suicide spiked dramatically from 2009 to 2011, a trend that University of Colorado officials say they hope to confront by integrating services on the Boulder campus and removing the stigma around asking for help.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Services earlier this month found a 44 percent increase in suicides among young veterans between 2009 and 2011, the most recent data available.

Suicides among 18- to 29-year-old male veterans increased from 40.3 per 100,000 in 2009 to 57.9 per 100,000 in 2011. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, that rate increased by more than 70 percent, from 46.1 to 79.1 per 100,000 veterans.

George Ballinger, assistant vice chancellor and director of parent relations, said there haven't been any veteran suicides in recent years among the 1,000 or so veterans and dependents on campus, and he hopes to keep it that way.

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