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Published December 22, 2011, 07:01 PM

VA clinics deal with rise in veteran suicide

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - As the US Military continues to grapple with the high number of suicides local programs are making progress with the issue.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

As the US Military continues to grapple with the high number of suicides local programs are making progress with the issue.

Since 9/11, the Fargo VA’s Seamless Transition Program has enrolled 6,000 soldiers. Four thousand have had visits with the special VA program which works with those coming home after deployment.

This comes as Minnesota State legislators heard from returning guardsmen who have struggled with depression and suicide attempts after coming home from the war. In the past 4 years, 20 soldiers in Minnesota have taken their life. It’s the 2nd highest rate in the country.

Two thirds of those taking their life are people not deployed. The Fargo VA has Outpatient Clinics and care available for returning vets spread across the state.

Deb Kunkel – Fargo VA-OEF/OIF Manager: “Whenever we have a new veteran enroll, we always try to see them the same day and we always have a walk in clinic available to visit and talk to them.”

With its outpatient clincs the VA out of Fargo serves the 2nd largest geographical area, after Alaska.

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