Suicide crisis reaches beyond combat veterans

Darcel Rideout often found her 10 years in the Pennsylvania National Guard to be “exhilarating.” But the stresses of the job and the time away from family took a toll on her, and she battled with depression during the last few years of her service.

The risk of suicide among U.S. military veterans has remained at the same high level despite efforts in recent years to address the crisis. All veterans are affected by the crisis, even if they never served in a combat zone.

Leah Blain, director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, said vet suicides don’t seem to be dropping, and researchers are still trying to understand what factors are behind their heightened risk. “All we really know right now is there’s no one factor,” she said. “Deployment does not seem to be a factor.”

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