Phoenix Forms Team To Reduce Suicides Among Veterans
Suicide rates for veterans are higher than the national average in the Valley and across Arizona. According to the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System, the Arizona veteran suicide rate is 54.8 per 100,000, while Maricopa County's rate is 54.4. The national average, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is 38.
To help alleviate the problem, the city of Phoenix has formed an interagency team to develop a full strategic plan to increase support and reduce suicide among veterans, service members and their families.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said he wants to help provide hope for those in tough times.
"Too often, veterans want to do it on their own and we want to send a message," Stanton said. "You don’t have to do this on your own, we can help you.”
The coalition includes local and state leaders as well as representatives of nonprofits that work closely with veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are backing the mayor's initiative.