National Press Club

Expert analyzes high rate of military suicide, care for survivors, 10 a.m. June 23

June 17, 2016 | By Tony Gallo |

Kim Ruocco, chief external relations officer for The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), will discuss efforts to offer comfort and care to those who are grieving the loss of a military service member to suicide at National Press Club Newsmaker press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 23, in the Zenger Room.

Suicide in the United States has surged to its highest levels in 30 years, more lives have been lost to suicide in the past 15 years than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Another staggering statistic: veterans are 12 times more likely to die by suicide than non-veterans. Even more surprising is the fact that female veterans are six times more likely to die by suicide than their civilian counterparts. Families affected by suicide also are at a higher risk of death by suicide.

Ruocco will relate how personal experience and information gathered from thousands of service members and bereaved military families help others deal with suicide.

Since 1994, TAPS, at no cost to surviving families and loved ones, has assisted more than 50,000 surviving family members, casualty officers and caregivers. The National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp are held annually along with regional TAPS programs.

Like all Newsmaker events, this news conference is open to credentialed media and Club members free of charge. No advance registration is required.