Allsup Observes National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 8-14

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Veterans account for approximately 22 percent of suicides in the U.S; Allsup highlights resources for finding help.

Allsup is observing National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 8-14 with other organizations nationwide to bring awareness to this troubling issue.

About 105 people commit suicide every day—including up to 22 military veterans, according to government reports. Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and veterans disability appeals, is observing National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 8-14 with other organizations nationwide to bring awareness to this troubling issue.

Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Illness (NIMH). The latest available data from the NIMH cites a suicide rate of about 11 suicide deaths per 100,000 Americans.

A report issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found an estimated 22 veterans died by suicide each day in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 105 suicide deaths per day in the U.S.

Risk factors vary with age, gender and ethnic group, and may occur in combination or change over time.

A significant number of people who commit suicide—more than 90 percent—have been diagnosed with mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Some of the mental illnesses associated with suicide include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Research suggests that PTSD, which has increased in awareness in recent years due to war veterans, may be a contributing factor in suicides,” said Brett Buchanan, an Allsup VA-accredited claims agent. “VA data shows the suicide rate among male veteran VA users as approximately 37 per 100,000—primarily among those veterans suffering from PTSD.”

The National Center for PTSD reports that rates of PTSD in combat veterans vary from 10 to 30 percent, depending on the conflict in which they served. Experts estimate close to 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans, up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and approximately 30 percent of Vietnam veterans experience the condition.

The VA reports that more than 69 percent of veteran suicides were among those age 50 and older, compared with approximately 37 percent of suicides of non-veterans in the same age group. The overwhelming majority of veteran suicides are male—97 percent.

PTSD is a condition that may qualify veterans for both VA disability benefits and SSDI benefits. SSDI, which is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), provides monthly income to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.

Helping Those at Risk for Suicide
Friends and family can help loved ones by encouraging them to seek treatment, according to NAMI.

Resources include:

  • NAMI offers a national Information HelpLine for assistance with mental health needs at (800) 950-6264, or email info(at)nami(dot)org.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days at week at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
  • The Veterans Crisis Line is available at (800) 273-8255 for veterans and their loved ones. Help also is available online and via text to 838255.

Read more about veterans disability appeals at Veterans.Allsup.com or call (888) 372-1190.

To learn more about SSDI eligibility, call the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free SSDI evaluation.

About Allsup
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

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Rebecca Ray
Allsup
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