POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – September is Suicide Awareness Month, and those who served in the military are more likely to die by suicide than those who have not.
Suicide is a serious public health problem, according to the World Health Organization. More than 700,000 people die from suicide every year, and it’s the fourth leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 29.
Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide every year compared to non-veterans due to trauma, PTSD and depression.
The World Health Organization also says one in three veterans reported they don’t get the mental health services that they need.
Local veteran Commander Leo Connelly, Jr. spoke about the challenges he faced reintegrating back into society after the hardships of war.
“I’m a firm believer that society was not ready for what we were bringing home. The mental illness, what they needed to help us. They had we had no help,” said Commander Connelly.
The World Health Organization also says suicides in the active duty military increased in the first three months of this year compared to the same time last year.
Commander Leo Connelly stressed that mental health disorders can impact anyone, not just those who serve our country, and that fighting for your health and life is difficult, but it is worth it.
“I can get with a circle of guys or women and we can sit down and talk about what they went through, what I went through. And you’d be shocked to learn. There’s so many similarities to our conversation,” said Commander Connelly.
It’ll take strength and courage every day. If you are struggling with mental health, contact your local physician.