Mental health support is at the top of many veterans’ priority list as suicide continues to be a serious issue in the veteran community, Clarksville Now reports.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) distributed a survey to 3,000 post-9/11 veterans. Main topics included the GI Bill, health and mental health, Veterans Affairs (VA), employment, education, and reintegration.
Those polled ranked suicide and mental health, VA disability benefits, and employment and jobs as the top three issues facing the veteran community.
According to the results, a staggering 80 percent of veterans do not think they receive adequate mental health care.
Other notable statistics from the IAVA survey respondents include:
- 63 percent believe veterans have the support of the public
- 22 percent do not think the public understands veterans’ sacrifices
- 59 percent agree that the VA is not properly supporting veterans’ mental health issues
- 65 percent agree that the Department of Defense is not properly supporting veterans’ mental health issues
- 40 percent have contemplated suicide
- 45 percent know an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who committed suicide
- 54 percent know an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who attempted suicide
The IAVA reinforces that veteran suicide is a prominent issue, and demonstrates that many veterans do not feel supported by the government entities they served or the communities they protected.