A recent study reported in the New York Times shows that suicide rates among veterans are the same as among civilians as long as they are receiving treatment for depression. There were some differences, though. While suicide rates among civilians typically peak later in life, veterans experience a peak between the ages of 18 to 24. Also, a previous study showed veterans are far more likely (80 percent versus 55 percent) to commit suicide with a gun.

The study only looked at veterans already receiving treatment for depression or post traumatic stress disorder. What this emphasizes is the need for veterans to have access to the Veterans Administration health care system (which Phillip Longman billed as "the best care anywhere"). As long as veterans get the proper treatment for depression or PTSD, they are at lower risk for suicide. The good thing is that such a complicated thing as the mental health of returning soldiers is under examination.

--Kay Steiger

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