Published Date: August 20, 2016

​Data from the 2011 to 2013 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were pooled to estimate prevalence of mental health need (serious psychological distress and impairment in one or more life domains), minimally adequate treatment (having four or more visits with a health professional in the past 12 months and use of prescription medication for mental health problems in the past 12 months), and suicide ideation among veterans living in California. Numbers and percentages were weighted to the state population using a large sample size of 6,952. For comparison, veterans and nonveterans were standardized to the age and gender distribution of veterans in the sample.

Although differences in mental health need were similar between veterans and nonveterans after adjustment, over three-quarters of veterans did not receive minimally adequate treatment needed to address their mental health needs. Suicide ideation was significantly higher among veterans than nonveterans. Male veterans at all ages were more vulnerable to thinking about suicide compared to their nonveteran counterparts.


Publication Authors:
  • Linda Diem Tran, MPP
  • David Grant, PhD
  • May Aydin, PhD