Two recent credible reports delivered disheartening news to Arizona, its Veterans, and those who love and support them. Despite studies that show the national rates of Veteran suicide and homelessness declined, Arizona showed increases in both heartbreaking areas.
First, the Veterans Administration (VA) reported in its annual update that Veteran suicides nationally decreased by 399 and the rate per 100,000 decreased 6.3 percent. In Arizona, however, both the number and rate per 100,000 increased. As a result of the national decrease and the Arizona increase, Arizona now has the fifth highest Veteran suicide rate in the nation. www.mentalhealth.va.gov/docs/data-sheets/2021/2021-National-Veteran-Suicide-Prevention-Annual-Report-FINAL-9-8-21.pdf
Secondly, in its Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that Arizona is among just a few states where Veteran homeless rates increased while the national rates and most of the states decreased. www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/2021-AHAR-Part-1.pdf. Michelle Jameson, CEO of US Vets-Phoenix, and Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce (SWVCC) Member, provided additional details in a recent AZ Central article: www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2022/02/15/veteran-homelessness-arizona-increased-2021-but-decreased-across-most-country/6670302001/.
To be sure, both the causes of these problems and their solutions are very complex issues. If you are a Veteran or care about them, we ask you to get involved in one or both issues. Learn more about them. Join organizations that are on the front lines battling these domestic threats. Donate money to help support the fight to reduce the level and impact of these issues.
On behalf of the Veterans and their families who will benefit from your support, we thank you,