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RAND Veterans Policy Research Institute

Prevalence of Past-Year Serious Psychological Distress Among U.S. Veterans

Gender

Serious psychological distress is nearly 3 times higher among female veterans than among male veterans.

Male
6.2%
Female
18.1%

Age

Serious psychological distress is more than 6 times higher among veterans aged 18–34 than among veterans aged 65 or above.

Age 18-34
19.0%
Age 35-49
13.8%
Age 50-64
7.5%
Age 65+
3.0%

Race/Ethnicity

Serious psychological distress is 1.4 times higher among multiracial/other race veterans than among White veterans.

White
6.6%
Black
7.5%
Hispanic
8.8%
Multiracial/other
9.2%

Sexual Identity

Serious psychological distress is more than 2 times higher among gay/lesbian veterans and nearly 3.5 times higher among bisexual veterans than among heterosexual veterans.

Heterosexual
6.9%
Gay/lesbian
15.5%
Bisexual
24.0%

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, pooled 2015-2019.

NOTE: Psychological distress is defined as a nonspecific indicator of probable mental health problems severe enough to cause some impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning and to require treatment.

This infographic describes work done in RAND Education and Labor and documented in A Summary of Veteran-Related Statistics, by Eric Robinson, Justin W. Lee, Teague Ruder, Megan S. Schuler, Gilad Wenig, Carrie M. Farmer, Jessica Phillips, and Rajeev Ramchand, RR-A1363-5, 2023 (available at www.rand.org/t/RRA1363-5). To view this infographic online, visit www.rand.org/t/IGA1363-1

© 2023 RAND Corporation

IG-A1363-1

Research conducted by

Funding for this publication was made possible by a generous gift from Daniel J. Epstein through the Epstein Family Foundation. The research was conducted by the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute within RAND Education and Labor.

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