Veterans’ Health



Funding Area

Veterans’ Health


March 27, 2023


New York State is home to more than 600,000 military veterans. Although New York has one of the lowest veteran suicide rates in the nation, suicide remains a persistent challenge.

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs show that the rate has barely budged over the last 10 years despite numerous federal, state, and local investments in prevention efforts.

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  • New York veterans die by suicide at a rate nearly 2x as high as civilians. This has remained relatively unchanged since 2011, despite some annual decreases in rates.

  • Younger veterans (under the age of 55) consistently experience the highest rates of suicide.
    • Despite high rates of suicide among young veterans, those in the 35–54 age group have seen a decline in recent years, a hopeful trend in the right direction.

  • A new trend emerges: New York veterans’ use of firearms in suicide has rapidly increased in recent years.
    • New York veterans who die by suicide are 2x as likely as their civilian counterparts to use a firearm. Firearms are the most lethal method for suicide, and their use in veteran suicide has increased in each of the past five years.