Maine's Veteran Suicide Rate Far Outpaces the Nation's
Last month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published its largest and most comprehensive study ever of veteran suicides.
The analysis broke down numbers state by state. The results for Maine are staggering.
In 2014, 55 Maine veterans committed suicide.
At a rate of 48.3 suicides per 100,000 vets, Maine's rate far outpaces the nation's which is 38.4 per 100,000.
The Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services, VA Maine Healthcare System, and Maine Vet Centers are taking proactive measures to address the problem.
They'll be holding their first-ever Military Veteran Symposium on December 12th at the University of Southern Maine.
There will be speakers, including Maine veterans that have attempted suicide, and panel discussions on strategies to reduce veteran suicide.
People are encouraged to reach out to a veteran in their family or community.
"Communities really take an opportunity to honor the veterans who have served in their communities and we're really grateful for it, but ask them, ask them how they're doing. Sometimes veterans avoid Veterans Day activities because it's too much and they don't want to be recognized. You just never know, you never know what someone's thinking. Every veteran is different. Every veteran's experience is different," said Adria Horn, Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services.
For those interested in sharing their story or attending the symposium, you should register online at WWW.MAINE.GOV/VETERANS/.