NPR

VA Struggles To Unlock The Reasons Behind High Suicide Rates Among Older Veterans

There's been an alarming rise in the suicide rate among younger veterans. But elderly veterans commit suicide at a rate higher than the non-veteran population. The VA wants to find out how to stop it.

Much of the focus by the Veterans Health Administration has been on the growing number of younger veterans who commit suicide. However, statistics show that the suicide rate for elderly veterans is higher than that of non-veterans of the same age.

Robert Neilson was drafted in 1961. He spent two years in the Army just before the Vietnam War. Three years ago, the 76-year-old came into the VA Hospital in San Diego after contemplating suicide.

"That's what really brought me into the emergency room. That wasn't really

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