Giving Compass' Take:

• Ben Paynter reports that a nonprofit veteran services group called America’s Warrior Partnership is working to track the lives of vets to address the root problems that lead to veteran suicides. 

• What are the main challenges for veterans when they return to civilian life? How can we share veteran stories to bring more understanding about the harms of PTSD and mental health issues in the veteran community?

• Read about how arts and creative expression can be used to help veterans work through painful experiences. 

About 20 veterans a day commit suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. But that number is probably far higher if you factor in those less than honorably and dishonorably discharged, which the VA doesn’t include in its statistics.

In general, these deaths often have contributing factors that are often recognized in hindsight, say, depression or substance abuse, and maybe access to a firearm. But that doesn’t really tell much about who the person was or how they interacted with their community.

A $3.9 million research initiative led by the nonprofit veteran services group America’s Warrior Partnership, along with the University of Alabama and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, aim to change that by first tracking all of the local-level risk factors that lead to veteran suicides, and then creating a holistic plan to help communities prevent more of them.

Read the full article about tracking the lives of veterans struggling with mental illness by Ben Paynter at FastCompany.