The suicide rate among female veterans has increased far more dramatically than the suicide rate among male veterans over the past decade, and experts are struggling to figure out why, NPR reports.
“We can’t ask deceased people about what factors might have led up to the completion of suicide,” Lindsay Ayer, who studies military suicide at the RAND Corporation, told NPR.
Since 2001, the rate of suicide among male veterans has jumped by 11% for those who use VA services, and 35% for those who don’t, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Meanwhile, the suicide rate among female veterans who use VA services has increased by 4.6%. While that’s less than half the rate among males, the suicide rate among those who don’t use those services has risen by 98%.