The Department of Veterans Affairs is rolling out new veteran suicide protocol in March to address its previous failures to make a dent in preventing suicide.

The agency estimates the new plan will end up serving 32,000 veterans out of the more than 250,000 that leave the military annually. But senior officials estimate the cost will be $100 million with no new money being allocated.

The increase is expected to further burden the same system that keeps failing veterans year after year.

How is that for commitment to fighting veteran suicides?

RELATED: Married Vets At Higher Risk Of Suicide

A Decade Of Failed Veteran Suicide Initiatives

For over a decade, the agency has actively spent uncountable millions on preventing suicide without any success. The number of veteran suicides daily still hovers around 20 per day, and 70 percent of those were not enrolled in VA care.

Its newest initiative, which is the result of a White House mandate, will be to automatically add new veterans to the rolls at the local VA medical center for mental health care. While some obviously believe the idea has merit, others are concerned the move will result in overburdening the system.

The new executive order requires VA to auto-enroll new veteran in mental health care within 60 days. Carolyn Allard, head of a San Diego VA sex trauma program, worry there is not enough time to complete enrollments.

“Ah, I don’t see it happening very quickly,” she said. “The VA is a big, huge bureaucracy. Like any other bureaucracy, things do not move fast.”

AMVETS is also very concerned.

“When you’re talking about a few million people getting out over the next five years, and offering them service, you had better be able to take care of those who are in the system and need the services,” said Sherman Gillums Jr., a retired Marine who helped veterans file for benefits in San Diego before becoming the chief strategy officer for AMVETS.

RELATED: Family Sues Over Botched Heart Surgery

Suicide Prevention Designed For Failure

What do you think about the new plan?

I have privacy concerns with veterans being auto-enrolled into any health care system they do not affirmatively opt for much less need. Not all veterans need mental health care, and this newest attempt to shoehorn us all into these systems is concerning.

It is possible the new auto-enrollment system could be used to boost the sampling data for the agency’s newest suicide prediction software I wrote about April 2017 called Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET).

REACH VET Press Release Excerpt

According to a press release at the time:

Using a new predictive model, REACH VET analyzes existing data from Veterans’ health records to identify those at a statistically elevated risk for suicide, hospitalization, illness or other adverse outcomes. This allows VA to provide pre-emptive care and support for Veterans, in some cases before a Veteran even has suicidal thoughts.

 “One Veteran suicide is one too many,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin. “This cutting-edge program is saving lives by identifying at-risk Veterans and connecting them with the specialized care and support they need.”

Once a Veteran is identified, his or her VA mental health or primary care provider reaches out to check on the Veteran’s well-being, review their condition(s) and treatment plans to determine if enhanced care is needed. The program began as a pilot in October and is now fully implemented across VA.

“REACH VET is a game changer in our effort to reduce Veteran suicide,” said Dr. Caitlin Thompson, National Director of VA’s Office for Suicide Prevention. “Early intervention can lead to better recovery outcomes, lessen the likelihood of challenges becoming crises and reduce the stress that Veterans and their loved ones face.”

The company implementing and developing that software certainly stands to benefit from ramping up the numbers of veterans it can analyze.

That aside, it seems like more lipstick on a pig designed to burden a system that cannot manage its existing enrollments.

And, since everyone seems to know this will cause more problems, it also seems likely the plan is designed to fail.

REACH VET Presentation

Now back to the predictive software, I’d be curious to reach what any of you conclude from reading it or our own researching online about the implications of auto-enrollment, increased sample sizes, or anything else related.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I applaud *any* real effort in combating Veteran Suicide but am not on-board with auto-enrolling whether it’s a good fit, entirely needed nor wanted, only serves to enlarge the massive asses warming chairs at the VA rather than addressing the *real* problem: The VA’s adversarial approach that includes: condescension, indifference, and lackadaisical attitudes.

    Until the *real* problem is addressed, this is still only serving to pump-up the VA Mental Health Hack Minions. Why? Because ANYONE with PTSD or is very sick enough to wish to place oneself through the demeaning process of applying for disability, esp. a Veteran, is the *LAST PERSON* the VA or anyone should be FORCING COMPLIANCE by not allowing a choice in the matter.

    An angry dog (or cat) absolutely hates being cornered and sometimes needs TIME to process wounds…that time may mean even years…sorry, but the VA will royally fuck this up as well by again not realizing they are the very catalyst many times initiating Veteran Suicide.

    Damn! Big Swamp Brother wants more! Rant Out!

  2. They should have a corruption prediction tool. This program will fail because if a lie detector test cannot be used in court, this tool will fail if a veteran’s rights are affected by some unlawful detention.
    Predicting how fat and corrupt an employee will be via an app will get my vote!
    I really think the creator of those Call of Duty type games should team up with a gamer who can make a veteran eccentric Call of Duty game with Cox and Shulkin as the enemies. All head shots , exploding potbelly pig employees for points will be very therapeutic.
    Cheesy poof depots and shit! 😂😂😂

    • Don’t forget nice weapons Veterans have had used against them in that game such as, agent orange, depleted uranium, burn-pit exposures, then even have extra “infirmary points” for pain & suffering inflicted after the battle should they be so lucky to survive level 1.
      Each level will be followed with a survey asking you how your death was delivered and was it delivered to your complete satisfaction. 😀 (afterlife points) 😀

  3. Page one, the lie again. Vets who do not see combat shouldn’t be comingled with those that do in suicide prevention rates. Those get training and can do without the burden of PTSD and end up with a very low suicide rate.

    Until combat ribbon veterans are routinely screened for brain damage by retaking the military induction scores isolation of those at risk won’t be done and nothing will change. Of course doing that will cost VA disability compensation and negates the potential.

  4. “The number of veteran suicides daily still hovers around 20 per day, and 70 percent of those were not enrolled in VA care.”

    change that to

    “The number of veteran suicides daily is still reported using unknown counting methodologies as just 20 human beings per day, and 70 percent of those American veterans were not enrolled in VA care at the moment of death according to the VA who confirmed the accuracy of the numbers with a double dog pinky swear.”

    As far as what this plan ACTUALLY suggests that we do as a nation is precisely what VA does with care documented in about 936 pages of my now iBook version of my own medical record. I DESPISE and loathe the idea because when it spreads beyond the path of good intentions I know what happens personally.

    I am talking specifically about our rights as individuals to be afforded “informed consent” to ANY decision to makes changes to our lives that can have a significant impact on our well being, happiness, or freedoms. We have a right in America to self determination as free men. Even Ben as a guy with magna cum lada all over him MUST provide as a lawyer to his client enough information and obtain his clients consent to act on their behalf but ONLY after he as a lawyer is sure that the standard of “informed consent” has been met. Judges make damn sure a defendant KNOWS what the consequences of his choices will be if given choices if the judge expects their rulings to stand.

    Doctors in ANY practice are held to this standard as well – they simply are forbidden from making your medical decisions for you except in specific ways that accomodate things like an unconsious patient without an advanced directive. I gladly took all the morphine and other opiate the doc at my Eugene VA clinic prescribed me. However she filled those scripts of opiate with a narcotic pain contract entered into my record that I never saw or signed. They simply entered “patient not here to sign”. In other words, patient was not here to consent.

    After more than 700 doses of morphine and hydrocodone later which I gobbled ever more greedily she stopped sending them. To this day I have never met the woman Doctor, not spoken with the woman VA doctor, and the one secure message I sent the VA doctor who was prescribing ever increasing daily dosages of morphine and ask of its safety was returned with the message that by order of DBC I did not have permission to contact her – then secure message to her was terminated. She may have followed orders and policy and such although I doubt it but to me her misdeed is NOT my new physical dependence upon opiate/opiod now but rather she cannot possibly have honored the rights of informed consent and this seems to be VA tradition. My record is replete with such things.

    When we sign these guys up without asking them doesn’t that sort of force VA to get involved with their lives without informed consent? If so then by definition we green light these doctors to proceed without it just as a DBC does to a patient and the results are historically catastrophic.

    Each man MUST decide for themselves their own paths. Try forcing an alcoholic into treatment when they do not want treatment and you will likely trigger a drinking spree unrivalled by him before. Try shoving suicidal vets who hadn’t yet seen the need to be in crowded VA rooms with interns singing the theme song from “Barney” to suicidal veterans and see how well that works out too. It won’t.

    • I often have dreams of setting ‘Barney’ on fire while he’s singing that insidious song. I would sit back and share a vaporizer with my ‘Teletubies’ friends and watch him burn and scream until all purple vapor is dispersed.

  5. I used to see a vet counselor once a week.

    Then came the initial influx of Iraqi and Afghanistan vets.

    My sessions went to once every two weeks

    The VA promised more counselors.

    Then came the wind down and more vets entered the system.

    My sessions went to once every three weeks.

    The VA promised more counselors.

    Then the full impact of releasing many veterans in the final draw down.

    My sessions went to once every 5 weeks.

    The VA promised more counselors.

    I no longer see a Vet Center counselor. Younger guys need the support more than I. My former counselor has over 150 vets assigned to him. The office he works from has actually one less counselor now then it did when I was seeing him once a week. And now they are going to enroll every swinging dick (and female) who gets discharged into the MH system? I see my shrink once every 3 months and that is only if I can make an appointment right after I have an appointment. How is this going to help those already in the system? As my 6 year old grandson would say, this idea is too stupid.

  6. i just want it to stop. If any group of people deserves to live happy and prosper in this country it is us. We took the oath, we made the commitment, we made the sacrifices, and so have our families. but that’s not the reality in America today. I would like the VA to find a solution, now not tomorrow now. I know when i got out, i couldn’t even show my service on a job application for fear of being discriminated against, or even talk about it to anyone, and society just made me feel bad and so did the VA. I think society has a lot to do with it, part of the equation no one wants to talk about. The word identify keeps coming up, hell i can identify it, you can identify it, and any psychologist etc can identify it in less time than it would take to complete the software program, but most of us don’t have the sheepskin. why the big software program, so the VA can fuck a vet outa there benefits, and fudge there medical record that will follow all through life. i just have a real hard time believing anything and i mean anything the VA says or does.. The VA could fuck up a glass of water. Psilocin works, the weed works to, set and setting, set and setting, and it works better than any of the VA’s shit, and i think the keyword here is non-addictive. Why don’t the VA ever listen to its veterans, the patient, they never listen to the patient. We have to bring the VA to the point where they are willing to do anything, try anything to stop the suicides, to stop the madness and stop listening to big pharma’s lying shit, and start listening to its veterans.

  7. Suicide prediction software? Are you f****** kidding me??????

    Make no mistake: this “predictive suicide prevention protocol” is just the latest in a very complex web of attacks upon the very foundation of our Constitutional liberties. It will be used to label, marginalize and lock us up.

    Aside from this being (a) a ridiculous waste of money, and (b) completely counter to the concept that healing and care is a one-on-one thing– and (c) ignoring that most pressing is the need for affordable housing, meaningful work, and a network of caring people who ‘get it’– and not even mentioning that (with regard to c) the “rap groups” of the Vietnam era have done more to help veterans restore their sense of worth and well-being than all the billions spent propping up the medicalized systems of the VA — this latest is just one more massive pile of steaming BS.

    The only people this latest techno BS will help are (a) the tech company/companies who got the contract to design and implement it (it won’t work so there was probably no $$ allocated for maintenance though when it doesn’t work the same developers will get a new contract 3X larger as a reward), and (b) the glorious, self-serving bottom-of-the-barrel psychiatrists and psychologists whose interest in the VA mental health care system is to use it as a platform to direct their minion-graduate students in little fiefdoms for personal gain. That subset must be loving this, as it removes any need whatsoever to pay attention to the person in front of them and any concern that they will be sued for negligence and wrongful death. Win-win for technology and career minded elitists. Lose-lose for us. Again. Nothing new here folks…move along.

    The Seattle VA is a great example of this: it’s literally crawling with PhDs in psychology (academics/clinicians) who are gleefully sucking up grant money at the government tit for fake mindfulness “seminars” and “acceptance and commitment” therapies and writing their papers and becoming nascent experts in PTSD blah blah and salivating at the conferences and the accolades in their futures– while we, the veterans, assemble in shit brown-colored rooms on crappy 40 year old furniture with humming fluorescent lights overhead to attend these “workshops” which the graduate students and doctors spend all of five minutes preparing for (at the copier, making bootleg copies from a dog-eared book). (And BTW, mindfulness DOES help. So does meditation –but if you want to learn about it, download some sessions at soundstrue.org and find a Buddhist temple near you to practice — it won’t cost you a dime and the monks/nuns know what they’re talking about–skip the shitheads at the VA.)

    I first came into the Seattle VA system as a vet with severe chronic PTSD in the mid-90s and I can attest to the massive shift that has taken place in that system. It was pretty shabby and run down then, and all the activity today APPEARS to be for us, but if you pay careful attention, you can see that really, it’s all about the providers and the moneyed interests. We veterans are an extractive resource to be harvested, by the academics, by the tech industry, by the military industrial congressional complex, and by the pharmaceutical companies. A lot of people can make money off veterans — and that’s the primary name of the game. Especially if we have the audacity not to die before we turn 50 –because after age 50 we are very costly and have little value.

    And don’t forget–these so called “systems of care” are staffed largely by people with hard leftist leanings (think average clinical psychologist/social worker) who secretly (and often openly) detest both veterans (now they call us “warriors”) and the Constitution and wish to dismantle the latter in favor of their world view, which involves a highly intrusive unconstitutional central state (which if you’ve been following the # memo story line you KNOW we are way past the point of no return with that one) and the dismantling of our Bill of Rights. Did you know–to the average social worker, you were delusional for joining the military in the first place–but they’re really happy that you’re in a shit place now, because they can make themselves feel good about “helping” you. Please.

    Here’s a scenario we should all think about with regard to this so called protocol: you Citizen V (veteran) after raising serious and legitimate complaints regarding the VA, encounter an incompetent and malicious GS 12 who need only say “I’m CONCERNED about you” and the “predictive” software will kick in, and the police will descend upon you, and you will be locked up, drugged, and possibly even subjected to “electrotherapy” (or a similar chemical therapy) which permanently destroys your mind and your character. After your “therapy” is concluded (and how many days of electroshock/toxic chemcocktails will it take really? hint: less than the observation period) will you be safely released back onto the farm…where you can finally take your rightful place as one of the compliant complacent sheeple.

    Read your Orwell, folks and then look at the facts and tell me you are not concerned.

    As a group, via the corporate media, we are now being OPENLY stereotyped as inherently unstable (i.e. disruption committee fodder) AND now with this new “protocol”, we are being OPENLY stereotyped as inherently “in need of services.”

    I for one, do not believe that either this or the recent media about the disruptive committees is actually about these processes or protocols. It is a way of sending the public a strong message about our inherent instability and danger.

    Just when you think the maw of the gulag could open no wider, it does.

    But why would they do that to do, you say???

    Because as veterans , we are one of the few groups of people in this country who understand that the law of the land is the Constitution — and we are, by history, not afraid to put our lives on the line for that Constitution. This makes us a HUGE threat to the deep/permanent state. Given the way we’re being framed with these media hit pieces, how much justification will be needed in the sheeple’s mind if the deep state starts mowing us down as a group, should we be foolish enough to assemble? And who will be around to protest if this predictive suicide “protocol” is used to quietly come for us in the middle of the night…of course, only because we are in need of “services.”

    Be very concerned about these recent initiatives…they have nothing to do with helping human beings heal, and everything to do with eliminating the threat that we pose to the deep state–and its role in everything from the Kennedy assassination to 9/11 and the global false flag phenomenon.

    My two cents

  8. This Statement is wrong “The number of veteran suicides daily still hovers around 20 per day, and 70 percent of those were not enrolled in VA care.”

    The truth is that the original research showed that 70 percent of the 22 Veterans, who commit suicide every day, were receiving medical care through the VA Health Care System prior to their suicide.

    As for the forced automatically adding new veterans to the rolls at the local VA medical center for mental health care. Currently most Veterans are not enrolled in VA Health Care and want nothing to do with the deadliest Health Care System in America.

    It as though we signed up to fight for the rights of others, to force us to give up our rights.

    Combine this BS with the so called Veterans Courts that are now being implanted all over the country. We don’t even have the rights of citizens for our day in court when accused of a crime. It is just another way to force Veterans to become lab rats for the drug companies and to silence those of us who speak out.

    A prime example the Marine veteran who died of a drug overdose at the troubled Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Jason Simcakoski. Jason was on probation and under a court order as the terms of that probation to take the medications prescribed by former Dr. David Houlihan, which caused his life to first crumb into a total mess before ultimately causing his death.

    This automatic sign up of new Veterans is just new way to forcing new Veterans to accept being lab rats for the medical schools and drug companies. Given the more than 70% of the Veterans who do commit suicide are over the age of 55 and have had to live with the system provided by the VA for most of their lives. Clearly this automatic signup is in no-way meant to curb Veterans suicides.

    It is only to provide the VA with access to all medical records and forcing younger Veterans into serving as lab rats. Since they the VA has so severely depleted and corrupted the health of their prior source us older Veterans.

  9. I see the reach Vets Presentation in the article above has now failed. Just like any thing else connected to the VA! Total failure!

    • Do you think they pulled the presentation because they were worried we were actually fact checking their bogus numbers?

      Also that we would then show that they are actually stealing Veterans suicide prevention money to be used in their forcing new Veterans into the VA meat grinder as lab rats?

  10. HOLY CRAP MORE FRESH LIPSTOCK ON THE VA PIG 186 BILLON $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ FOR 2018 WAIT
    FOR IT MILLILIONS$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ WILL BE WASTED ON THIS SCAM VETS SCREWED AGIN MORE DEAD VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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