W.Va. Veteran Health Raises Flags in Survey

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A new survey finds one in five West Virginia veterans at risk for suicide.

Research commissioned by the Legislature also found half of veterans surveyed showing signs of post-traumatic-stress disorder, depression or both.

West Virginia University psychology professor Joseph Scotti presented the findings Tuesday. He and other researchers analyzed responses from more than 1,200 veterans.

Other warning signs include a higher rate of obesity and high blood pressure when compared to other state residents.

One in 10 veterans reported being homeless within the past year. Scotti said female veterans with children were disproportionately represented.

Recommendations include a comprehensive plan to reach out to suicidal veterans, and increase mental health services.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates show close to 170,000 West Virginians are veterans. That's more than one in 10 state adults.

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