VA Catches Heat Over Previously Unreported Suicide Numbers In New Report
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reportedly backed off its own suicide report after reporters noted its own data revealed no change in suicide numbers and that suicides among troops were higher than expected.
Military Times noted VA was displeased that reporters and readers noted statistical outcomes it did not want. This year, the agency included breakdowns between various groupings of suicides. One of those groups is of active duty troops showing higher suicides than previously reported.
For 2015, the new numbers were 1,400 deaths, which is 900 higher than previously reported. Over the four-year span reported, the number of unreported deaths is over 3,400.
RELATED: Veterans Twice As Likely To Commit Suicide
Now, VA is backing off the report saying the numbers led to a “misperception” about the suicide numbers leading to “confusion” about military suicides.
VA Bumbles Response
According to the Military Times article:
“In our report, VA did not differentiate deaths between active duty, current never federally activated Guard and Reserve, and discharged never federally activated Guard and Reserve,” said Dr. Keita Franklin, VA’s national director of suicide prevention.
“This difference in the report may have caused some confusion and led to the misperception that approximately 1,000 more current service members died by suicide than DoD reported in 2015.”
Franklin said including the breakdown in the report was designed to provide more information about the demographics of individuals who took their own lives. The updated report also contains new information on veterans’ era of service, ethnicity and comparison age groups in an effort to provide “more data points for us to look at.”
VA officials blamed the confusion on the troops’ suicide information on inconsistent definitions used in various agencies. Individuals who served in the guard or reserves and are considered “veterans” in census reports may not have been counted in the Defense Department statistics because of different mobilization authorities and state rules.
But the VA researchers are now emphasizing they have not found fault with official military suicide statistics, which have counted between 550 and 450 active-duty, guard and reserve suicides in each of the last five calendar years.
What Report Did Show
The report still shows veteran suicides are holding steady at 20 per day despite record spending on vendor programs supporting the agency’s goal to reduce suicides.
Tens of millions each year in spending on vendor projects to make suicide prevention programs look sexy has led to a zero decrease in suicide numbers. Imagine if VA spent that money on hiring psychologists to treat veterans?
I’m sadly reporting what I just heard on the news….That another veteran lit himself on fire at the Georgia Capitol building today.
All they care about is making their pockets fat.
Where is our President? I seriously am upset about this.
I have to wonder about subliminal messaging where a word or phrase is repeated over and over to coerce someone to commit an act. I’ve heard it repeated and repeated again; are you thinking about harming yourself? Are you thinking about harming others? Are you planning on suicide or planning on harming others?….I think I see why veterans suicide rate is still so high!
They have to ask that. It’s all CYA. Especially when so much of mental health care depends on self reporting. They have to be able to say that you reported no violent desires or else their culpable when you snap and shoot up a few employees.
I couldn’t get through that article with a straight face. It’s an apparent VA hit job and not even a very good one. I gotta say I find it hard to believe their numbers and, even if they are in fact true, I would posit that civilian health care is still, by orders of magnitude, far and away better than the VA can provide. It makes no sense to keep a corrupt and redundant agency afloat at the expense of taxpayer dollars and veteran lives.
They mention that the private sector is inadequate when it comes to treating mental illness. My rebuttal would be that the VA is completely inadequate for treating mental illness as is evidenced by the abundance of veteran suicides.
Honestly at this point RAND corp has got to be aware that they are seen as the VA’s mouthpiece.
I purposely put this article out to see what you and others would say. And, I don’t know what side of the isle that this online mag in on. A lot of the information seem skewed to me too.
awww you mean I’m still loved??? 😉
get’s me all flag wavey and shit 😀
One of the things that just occurs to me after smoking a bowl is that the article doesn’t take into account the fact that in the private sector when a doctor fucks your life up they can be held accountable. As we all know accountability is anathema to the VA.
Let me put it another way. Can somebody ANYBODY chime in and tell me what conditions the VA treats so much better than a private sector doctor/specialist could? I truly would like to know.
I know some could argue that the VA understands PTSD and what soldiers who have it both combat and non combat endured and continue to endure as a result of this private hell. Personally I don’t think anybody who wasn’t at the scene of the crime so to speak could ever truly understand well enough what happened to each and every one of us. How could they? They weren’t there. While there are definitely some short comings in the private sector mental health field I feel that the VA should be equally if not more so condemned at least on this particular point.
Also since the article tends towards pro VA and by extension AFGE membership I’m going to go ahead and say democrat. To me it sounds like an attempt to save union jobs. One of the areas I disagree strongly with the democratic party on. It is long past time to take the VA out behind the woodshed and put it out of our collective misery once and for all.
Bastids! Laughed so hard while reading that linked article that I spit iced tea all over my keyboard, seriously.
RAND = Rectal-brained And Negligent Doctors who have forgotten about everything except how to be a VA mouthpiece. And the average citizen eats this crap up.
Gotta do a “USA! USA!” (U Suck Assholes) for RAND.
Looking for a specific lie at the VA is like looking for a grey needle in s stack of black needles.through the wrong end of a spy glass…
Maybe they should spend the money on the valid claims that Veterans have that get denied. Maybe that will lower the suicide and homelessness rates. They waste a lot of money doing stupid stuff and a way cool website is not going to make a difference in the larger scheme of things. Start approving claims instead of denying them will help more than all the other crap they are doing.
Does anyone have an opinion of AMVETS? They reached out to help.
I’m not a big fan of any VSO organization. In my maybe not so humble opinion a VSO org is the Binder&Binder of the VA claim world. Organizations that are full of charlatans and snake oil salesmen that will promise you the moon if only you’ll agree to lifetime membership dues. VSO’s will very often horse trade your disability and when you dare question the decisions their making on your behalf via the power of attorney you have to sign. You get told to shut up and be grateful you’re even getting a fraction of what you should be getting. If you live in a state that has a veterans legal center then you should avail yourself of their resources. The best thing I ever did was fire the fucking useless cunts at DAV and got an attorney through my vets legal center. For free btw. My pitbull of an attorney is every bit as pissed off at the VA as I am over the delays in my case. She also knows what she’s talking about. My claim has been going on now for about 4.5 years. If I had stuck with the DAV I’d be sitting on a mountain of denial letters instead of successfully navigating the character of discharge phase due to an OTH discharge. Thanks to my attorney I am now waiting on a C&P exam date which should be coming down the pipe soon. If you can retain an attorney I STRONGLY advise you to do so.
They are helping with big problems with hospital and they contacted me to help. From headquarters, right now they have a nurse going through both my records and the hospital. They don’t get anything out of it, just help. They seem sincere and knowledgeable, but sometimes free can quickly turn into a mess why asked. Thx
I’ve given you my opinion dude. I will also add that it doesn’t hurt to also run it by an attorney. Kind of like a legal second opinion. Shouldn’t cost you anything and may yield you some surprising results. You will find most people around here aren’t very VSO friendly. An attorney that is free ie pro bono is still legally bound to represent you to the best of his/her abilities a VSO can look at you, shrug his shoulders, and say “Well gosh golly darn I sure as hell tried to get you what you deserved but the evil VA just won’t budge. By the way can I interest you in a lifetime membership to a shitty bar with shittier beer?”
It is crazy on much they hide. Think it’s a game that ends in death where win. I have learned so much about these shit bags and wished never did. The crisis line is trying to show how valuable the are, but there not. Don’t know what people expect, it’s the VA. I bet the whole report is wrong. I think number is close to 30 and that program is a waste of breath. There are other hotline and add 2 veterans to it them saving millions. They don’t care and they probably spent 90 days to make reports using people that were the to help veterans and failed. I’m almost ready to the point where will be unable to walk in to the VA hospital because it sickens me. Problem is they know most people practicing outside and squeeze in just to ruin more shit. I can’t believe how ignorant people are at the top, makes the ignorant people below to follow them in their Conga line of ignorance.
NEW DETAILS: Disgruntled veteran sets himself on fire outside Georgia Capitol, GSP says,
NEW DETAILS: Disgruntled veteran sets himself on fire outside Georgia Capitol, GSP says
Updated 6 minutes ago
By Steve Burns and JOHN SPINK, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Disgruntled with the U.S. Veterans Administration, a veteran set himself on fire outside the state Capitol in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., a Nissan Sentra parked on Washington Street along the west side of the Capitol, Georgia State Patrol Capt. Mark Perry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The veteran, a 58-year-old from Mableton, exited the car and walked across Washington Street toward the Capitol, according to officials.
“He was strapped with some homemade incendiary devices (and) firecrackers, and doused himself with some kind of flammable liquid,” Perry said.
Several loud explosions were heard. No shots were fired.
“That was the sound of fireworks,” Perry said.
A Capitol officer saw what was happening and put out the fire with an extinguisher, according to authorities.
The veteran was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital with burns over 85 to 90 percent of his body.”
Love the labeling .. “Disgruntled Veteran” That’s like saying a suicide bomber is philosophically and theologically conflicted with his victims. Heaven forbid we portray our veterans as depressed, desperate and suicidal. We need better optics for having made the VA great again, and again, and again.
Veteran protesting VA sets himself on fire outside Georgia Capitol
By Max Greenwood, The Hill – 06/26/18 12:06 PM EDT
“A veteran set himself on fire outside the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta on Tuesday after he launched a “personal protest” against the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Georgia State Patrol said.
“A veteran that was disgruntled with the VA did a personal protest in front of the capitol, which involved gasoline and some fireworks and he was injured,” Mark McDonough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Safety, told WSB-TV in Atlanta.”
The comment section of the Hill article is full of anti-Veteran pro-genderbending bullshit. Also full of liberals calling for gun control to prevent Veterans from owning guns.
Some seriously twisted individuals.
That comment section and remarks are what I live in and with daily in my area…. and worse. Man gets killed here and depending on who they are may not be on the news. They “don’t report all deaths or fatalities” is the excuse. Ha.
How many vets or people ya know has gone as far to stick large signs in their truck bed complaining about local corruption at the VA and local hospital about covering up for VA damages and treatment to the civvy hospital and clinic staff refusing to give me copies of my med files from them? And is supported by the lefty college town community, et al. And no media will touch my story. Kind shows how Indiana is doesn’t it? They have had a jump on Maxine Waters’ shit for years now along with other games and tactics used my the powers that be here. Oh and seemingly is state and federally protected and supported.
People tend to not believe that there is a real war going on against men, white men, vets (all), non-Democrats, or anyone who dares question any form of corruption, the censoring, or trying to get some attention to all the thuggery down right insanity.
The call center has responsibility without authority. No matter what the call recipient thinks is the likely hood that the caller will commit suicide after she hangs up or the caller hangs up on the recipient of the call the recipient cannot get the veteran into a neurobehavioral unit and if the caller gets themselves in, it will be for a max of a 3 day observation. Not enough time for someone really dealing with something. And the treatment is a one size fits all like the current PTSD group therapy program that is going around.
While that may cover up to half of the group the others are being left to their own devices which often means that finale exit because they can’t cope. And I believe most of those have an organic problem which is never addressed.
I’ve said this before. When Vets start taking asshole employees with them ala Albert Wong then this statistic will be straightened out overnight.
We as vets have been at war with the VA for quite some time now. This war has been declared on us by malfeasance and malpractice by incompetence and corruption by cronyism and nepotism. Frankly I’m amazed that more VA employees aren’t dropping dead from acute lead poisoning. This needs to be fixed. Once employees realize that AFGE membership doesn’t make them bullet proof perhaps then MAYBE we can straighten out the VA.
DHS/JTTF DON’T. FUCKING. BOTHER.
Tens of millions on vendor programs, trinkets, and a faulty suicide prevention hotline, and none for good qualified psychologists and psychiatrists. In my many years of dealing with the VA, I’ve only met two that actually care and are supremely qualified. What I’m trying to say is talking to an incompetent psychologist ore psychiatrist can be worse than not seeing one at all. I live in a rural area, I go to a small outpatient clinic once a month in some hospital, we have a lot of vets in the area in need, the VA will not give us/them the room needed to expand, they’ve been dragging there feet for years, it’s just pitiful, even when there are good qualified personnel, the VA can’t find the funding to keep the lights on an extra hour a month. I have my own theory about that and that is they do not want us to organize and communicate in any cohesive and constructive manor. A good deal of the problem with mental illness is isolation and in more way than one the VA will try to isolate. To the VA I’m just another dumb grunt, I get that, but their underestimation maybe to my benefit. And as always fuck the Lebanon VAMC, you worthless pieces of dirt, put on your white velvet gloves and go stand in the corner fuck yourself.
Anyone ponder what that ‘urgency’ would be if among the AFGE Minions at the VA, they suddenly had 22+ suicides a day?
The AFGE would of course, connect the crazy dots to we Vets being the cause and effect of their suicides.
With ^that^ said, would it not make as much sense that most Veteran Suicides cause and effect are in-fact the VA itself?
Eliminate the indifferent assholes holding the suicide prevention carrots= Problem solved.
Until there’s urgency, can’t apply hope in VA.
VA BUMBLES RESPONSE? Seriously???? VA LIES. Bottom line. The only thing they are truly guilty of, killing Veterans and not calling it Murder/Suicide secondary to the lack of care, respect, dignity that we Veterans have earned. What is exposed is only the tip of the ice berg. Even when the Media exposes these atrocities, there is a 15 second buzz and then snuffed out. My family voted for President Trump to make things better, now if there was an impeachment Roster, they would sign it. All Congress has done is give more money to a System that will never be fixed, and will never be there for us Veterans. Statistics don’t lie, no matter how slanted you translate those numbers.
The tip of the iceberg is correct… the very teeny tiny tip exposed that is. IF that depending on region or state.
More studies? Odd I have explained to many of them what the problems are and like they all don’t know… how corrupt this area and state is.
Sen Todd Young email news update:
“Protecting our Veterans
Suicide is one of the most serious problems facing our veterans today. On Wednesday, I spoke on the Senate floor to share my efforts with Senator Donnelly and Congressman Banks to ensure our veterans receive the highest quality of care and support they deserve. Our amendment based on our original legislation would study the effectiveness of the Veterans Crisis Line and the follow-up treatment these veterans receive. Studying the crisis line is vital to ensure that it is successful in its mission: to save as many veterans as we can. ”
Oh oh, more excuses for censoring, merging, corrupt corporate controls, news will be more hard found.
Killem’ with water:
Dear Benjamin Krause,
“Suicide prevention is VA’s highest clinical priority”
How quickly the VA has forgotten about their enterprises that never picked up the phones [suicide hotline].
What do they care…they already got their funding that will go to politicians and friends contracts..is the only reason that the VA exists…or did you think they were there to help vets?? hahahahahahha
I hear ya Fred, and it’s been proven over and over, and over again my friend.
Thanks Fred, had me laughing this morning, The vA is bizarre that’s for sure.
Fred, you absolutely correct.
Each dept. within the VA is only concerned about how they are viewed by the higher ups. They will do whatever it takes to shine in Wash DC and the publics eye. These compartmentalized VA depts. will even commit FRAUD at the behest of the VAMC directors’ behest. I’ve seen it done time and time again. It needs to STOP!
Comments are closed.