Transgender Veterans Face Elevated Risk of Suicide

Published: March 2, 2015

Original Article:

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 2, 2015 – A new study of transgender military veterans found that their suicide rate is significantly higher than that of the general veteran population.

The study examined 3,327 transgender veterans from 2000 to 2009, and it found that the suicide rate was 82 per 100,000 person-years. The overall veteran suicide rates is only 37.7 per 100,000 person-years — less than half that rate.

“This study highlights the intense mental health issues and gaps in care that many veterans, especially those in the transgender community, face,” said Jim Fausone, a veterans attorney in Northville, Michigan.

In 2011, Veterans Affairs prioritized the health of transgendered individuals (TIs) as part of a national directive, which urged the education of staff on transgender health issues.

The rate of suicide among transgender veterans is similar to the rates of suicide for veterans suffering from substance abuse (with a rate of 81.2 per 100,000 person-years) and schizophrenia (at 83.3 per 100,000 person-years). However, transgender veterans tended to commit suicide at a younger age than other veterans.

The average age of suicide for transgender veterans was 49.4 years. Over the course of the study, 9.3 percent of the participating veterans died, some due to disease and others due to suicide.

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