ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Suicides among the nation's military veterans have been increasing by shocking numbers.
The VA conducted the most comprehensive analysis of veteran suicides ever. It found an average of 20 veterans a day die from suicide.
Veterans account for 18 percent of all adult suicides in the U.S. and the risk of suicide is 21 percent greater for them.
The Chief of Mental Health at the VA hospital in Dublin said the rates fall when veterans enroll in VA mental health programs.
"The hardest step that most people find is taking that initial step and asking for help. After that what they find that there is a group of people there waiting to welcome them in," said Dr. Matthew Geyer, VA Chief of Mental Health.
The VA hopes to ensure same-day access for veterans with urgent mental health care needs at more than 1,000 locations by the end of the year.
To reach the crisis hotline, you may call 1-800-273-8255 or visit the Veterans Crisis Line website here.