NewsLocal News


Max Facts: Utah veterans more likely to have children at home and more prone to suicide

Posted at 5:52 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 00:10:24-05

Veteran Households with Children:

Utah Veterans stand out for having more households with children than veteran populations in any other state in the country. In Utah, about 38 percent of Veterans have children in their household. That means two things:

  1. Vets in Utah have the added stress of transitioning and dealing with war-related issues while supporting a family.
  2. Utah children feel the impacts of war more than children in other states.

Veterans by County:

This is more a statistic for the sake of it. Grand County has more vets per capita than any other in Utah and Rich County has fewer. There are a number of counties with similar percentages to Rich at 3.2 percent and Rich is one of Utah's smallest by population, making one veteran moving in or out significant statistically. Grand County is bigger and it's 7.4 percent total is impressive.

U.S. Vets Disabled:

War doesn't stop hurting its fighters when they go home. Of course, that's true, but it's easy to forget. 4.2 million American Vets are dealing with significant disabilities.

Veterans Disabilities by Extent:

About 1.4 million veterans have disabilities severe enough to hamper their functioning by 70% or more. About 530,000 are 50 percent to 60 percent disabled and about 680,000 are 30 percent to 40 percent disabled.

Veteran Total Suicides:

Veteran suicide is a big problem in and of itself, and it's so important to remember that it is the most magnified symptom of the emotional strain war continues to visit on the men and women who have served in a war. The numbers of suicides have been relatively consistent in this century...

Suicides per 100,000

...but the suicide rate has gradually ticked up every year from 2005 to 2016, according to VA statistics. As we've sent fewer troops overseas and veterans of past wars get older, the overall population of veterans has declined while the number of suicide deaths among veterans has remained high. It's not a problem that has gone away as we send fewer fighters overseas, and it hasn't lessened as those who we might see as "most vulnerable" have already committed suicide.

Utah vs National Suicide Numbers

In 2015 60 Utah veterans killed themselves. That's about 10 percent of Utah's total number of suicides. Vets are less than 7 percent of the population. Utah's veteran suicide rate was 44.1 per 100,000 in 2015, compared to 30.5 percent nationally. Overall, Utah has a suicide problem with a 2015 rate in the general population of over 28 per 100,000 with the overall national rate closer to 17 per 100,000.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services. In an emergency, dial 911.