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Local
Vets in Oklahoma commit suicide twice as often as civilians
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Vets in Oklahoma commit suicide twice as often as civilians

Vets in Oklahoma commit suicide twice as often as civilians
Photo Credit: Russell Mills

Vets in Oklahoma commit suicide twice as often as civilians

A study of Oklahoma health data indicates that veterans commit suicide at a rate double that of civilians ages 18 and up.

That disturbing trend shows in the most recent numbers available, from 2011, in which 141 of the state's 684 suicides involved vets or active-duty military personnel, according to the study conducted by Oklahoma Watch.

Ann Jenkins is Senior Program Director of Psychiatric Crisis Services for Family & Children's Services of Tulsa.

She says for veterans, "Sometimes it's very hard to reintegrate back into society if they've been active duty, that can be very difficult for them."

She added, "suicide becomes an option to escape that pain."

FCS offers a 24-hour, 7-day a week 365-day a year suicide prevention program, known as COPES (Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services).

The phone number for COPES is (918) 744-4800, and the service is free and absolutely confidential.

In the case of veterans, Jenkins says they have even more resources available to them, and FCS tries to connect them to those services.

From Family and Children's Services:

People at risk of suicide often display warning signs. Your friend or loved one could be at increased risk if he/she:

»Expresses a strong wish to die or threatens to kill himself/herself. »Talks or writes about death, dying or suicide. »Suddenly begins acting happier and calmer. »Begins giving away prized possessions. »impulsively purchases a firearm or obtains poisons or other means of killing himself/herself. »Seems hopeless, expresses no reason for living or sense of purpose in life. »Acts reckless or engages in risky activities, seemingly without thinking »Increases his/her alcohol or drug use. »Displays extreme mood swings.

You can visit the FCS suicide prevention resource page here. Links from FCS:

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