President Donald Trump created a new Cabinet-level task force by signing a new executive order called the PREVENTS initiative.

The executive order creates a task force that includes secretaries from VA, DoD, HHS, and Homeland Security. The PREVENTS initiative, short for President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and the National Tragedy of Suicide, will serve as a mechanism to provide grants to state and local governments while also monitoring veterans suicide trends.

“To every veteran, I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you,” Trump said. “You will never be forgotten. We are with you all the way.”

One element of the initiative will focus on reaching veterans who do not use the Department of Veterans Affairs. 2/3 of the daily 20 suicides are by veterans that do not use VA for health care.

In the next year, the agencies will set up a team that will:

  • Develop a comprehensive national public health roadmap outlining the specific strategies needed to lower effectively the rate of Veteran suicide, with a focus on community engagement,
  • Design and propose to Congress a program for making grants to local communities, which will increase their ability to collaborate with each other, integrate service delivery and coordinate resources to Veterans, and
  • Develop a national research strategy to improve the coordination, monitoring, benchmarking and execution of research in the field of Veteran suicide prevention.

AMVETS, while supporting the goal, in a statement expressed concerned about the delay that will occur between set up and additional suicides.

“It … begs the question of what steps our government will take to actively curb veteran suicide while this blueprint is being developed over the next 365 days,” the statement reads. “If the statistics hold true over the next year, over 7,000 lives will be lost before full implementation is realized. The reality is ‘crisis’ has no patience, and neither should we.”

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie plans to work with its partners to move PREVENTS forward.

“We are committed to saving Veteran lives, but just as there is no single cause of suicide, no single organization can end Veteran suicide alone,” Wilkie said. “We must work side by side with our partners at all levels of government — and in the private sector — to provide our Veterans with the mental health and suicide prevention services they need. This executive order advances the public health approach to suicide prevention further by identifying key integrations and connections across the federal government and communities that can be used to save Veterans’ lives.”

On the surface, this seems like a great move and it shows the President is making movement on veterans issues as promised. I do have a couple of concerns, though.

This executive order is the second President Trump has signed that addresses veterans issues – and both seem to operate like vacuums to suck veterans into the VA health care system citing mental health care and now suicide prevention.

The first executive order automatically enrolls veterans into VA health care programs when a soldier exits the US military. The program was supposedly aimed at eliminating barriers to using VA health care apparently including the barrier of abstaining from VA services.

The second executive order, here, cites the statistic that 14 veterans commit suicide each day who are not part of the VA health care system. I guess that could make sense if veterans in the VA health care system were suicide free or experienced significantly lower suicide rates.

However, the other 6 veterans who commit suicide each day are in the VA health care system, so I am not clear increasing VA involvement in the life of a veteran who does not want it will somehow improve the numbers.

Again, and I have said this before, there are around 22 million veterans in the United States. Around 7 million are enrolled in VA health care, give or take a few. The suicide numbers are largely proportional, so I am not clear how VA will improve the odds by reaching out to veterans who abstain from VA health care, to begin with.

After all, many veterans still commit suicide who make use of VA health care, and that number is proportional to the overall number of veterans. So, will pushing more veterans into the VA health care system really help reduce veteran suicide?

I have nothing against helping veterans. But, I am concerned that we may be witnessing expansion of the fed under the guise of helping veterans that may serve as a justification to roll out more expansive programs, not just impacting veterans, but all Americans.

Keep an eye on how the agency now uses this mandate to fund marketing campaigns and other forms of media to win the hearts and minds of the American public.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. “To every veteran, I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you,” Trump said. “You will never be forgotten. We are with you all the way.”

    This is a goddamned lie.

    • I’m a combat vet, got out in ’83. Tried to go to college w/ GI bill. Was completely on my own. Was using nat. guard member ship to pay tuition. Fell off an 88 at drill, grades dropped, no more tuition payments still on my own. Can’t even get a usable pair of glasses at VAMC in Alex, LA. Scared to use that facility, too easy to kill veterans there. They don’t like wistleblowers. Charged with co-pays for meds. I don’t even use. Trying to divest myself of all contact with VA as dealing with them puts a black cloud of bitterness and anger over my life. Suicide? I have thought about it but realized that’s exactly what VA wants; and the BS veterans have to go through to get anything from VA is the real reason for all the suicides. I’ve also realized Congress and most of Americans don’t really GAF about veterans. But I trust in God, He’s all I need.

    • Now we’re going to have Special K VA Fuckery. This should be fun with color-changing walls and furniture during hungry hungry hippos group therapy time!
      The vending machines might just have something other that 16 varieties of Melba crackers soon!

  2. “PREVENT”
    PRE—VENT

    This is that mental conversation most Veterans have with their brain and central nervous system the days leading-up to any VA appointment that surely will have a special kind of fuckery awaiting them.

    If you PRE—VENT you just may dodge the Veteran Behavioral Disruptive Comittee and not-collect $200., but your PRE—VENTING may just save your life from yourself post-VA Fuckery.

    • Morale of story of PREVENTing: If that conversation goes well w your brain & cns, a sensible Veteran would avoid the VA completely, saving his/her life from VA Fuckery.

  3. Let’s see here, Ben saud 14 out of 6 veterans are not enrolled in the vha. And this “new suicide prevention act” is designed to; 1.) Take a year to start. & 2.) Possibly enroll those 14 vets into the failed vha.
    Follow my logic here.
    I’ll guarantee y’all, the VA suicide rate will grow exponentially. And then there will be the usual lambasting from Congressional Representatives over – “I’m outraged!” & “How did this happen?” & “Let’s send more money!”

  4. The V.A. will probably used this program to monitor V.A.whistleblowers, V.A. patients, and ex V.A. patients who don’t want anything to do with this program. I’m a V.A. whistleblower and my life been turned upside down because I blow the whistle on contaminated water at Micheal E. Debakey V.A. My name is been smeared and myaccounts being hack. So are there any solutions
    to preventing the V.A. from monitoring Vets who don’t want to be monitor?

    Please Google Whistleblower Tarref Simon

  5. What is missing in this initiative is attempting to get the VHA to realistically improve the disability claims process. It amazes me every time I get some absurd bureaucratic paperwork that confuses me completely [For Your Information I am a former infantry DAV with over over 43 years as a lawyer so I have seen a lot of paperwork bullshit over the years]. I cannot help but wonder about vets who commit suicide because of being repeatedly jerked around by the VA bureaucracy. The Marine LTC who pulled the trigger on the steps at Bay Pines is a example.

  6. Yes, 2/3 that commit suicide are not in the VA health care system. They’ve either been kicked out or never let in. Playing with numbers again. Cheyenne/Phoenix still paves the way to bonuses.

  7. Well, at least now the VA is responsible for every vet..the mental health workers can’t be horrible to the most hard to help vets so they just go away so they don’t have to be counted in their numbers……many of those that are not getting treatment have gone to the VA and try to get help at VA and are pushed away. Then the VA can say 20 people that killed themselves weren’t coming to the VA..but how many had been to the VA in the past and treated like garbage so they stopped going and ended up killing themselves..So now the VA is responsible for every vet so they better help or have that counted against them!

    • Saw medium to heavy combat in the ‘nam’ as an 0311. Only get 10% for PTSD , finally got 20% for three peices of shrapnel (I picked up in ’68) a few years back. Requested treatment for my PTSD, but was told we couldn’t t talk about my religious beliefs, or Jesus; the main reason I’m alive today. I’m one of the 70% who are not under care of va mental health. What a joke. But not dealing with VA and trusting in God is the best things I can do.

  8. Throwing money at outreach programs is a waste! Vets know where to go and what to do! The issue is with the medical treatment that is being provided, or not provide, I should say. The VA offers CBT as their treatment solution which is a good program for managing emotions along with deep breathing, meditation, good sleep, healthy nutrition and exercise. But what Mental Health options veterans need and are not being provided is Trauma counseling. With that being said, what the VAMH provides TRIGGERS the trauma. This is
    because when your are in your most vulnerable state and looking for support, the VAMH dismisses you and gives you the run around which creates an exchange that puts the veteran seeking help on the defensive. They are then labelled “uncooperative” and red flag. Try this out in the private sector and the MH provider will lose business and/or be sued for endangering the health of their patient. Allow veterans to have a choice and go outside the VA for MH treatment and all of those 300 million US citizens that are supporting the veterans will see suicide rates decrease and vanish!

    Peace Out

  9. “To every veteran, I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you,” Trump said. “You will never be forgotten. We are with you all the way.” Sad sack called Trumpster.

    That alone shows how out of touch that squirrel is. That obviously hasn’t read emails, snail-mail, petitions, or heard of the many complaints from veterans or their care-givers. What a scum-bucket. The more he talks and gives lip-service the more I want to stop all voting in this two party game of hog-wash or hog-wallowing traitorous garbage. It’s definitely not what the elite’s college kiddies are spouting like Pence’s family two-faced stuff.

    “creates a task force that includes secretaries from VA, DoD, HHS, and Homeland Security? Etc? Mo money… “grants.” Like all those grants and laws preventing us from pain treatment/meds. To us already being monitored, listed, investigated in every way imaginable to know our every move at a pharmacy. Those very same groups and agencies that refuse to investigate complaints or like HHS that claims it’s legal for a civvy hospital to retain our med files and not release them to us when needed? Really? DHS and others do the same neglecting treatments and attacks on us… “community” and state wide???? WTF really?

    “Develop a comprehensive national public health roadmap outlining the specific strategies needed to lower effectively the rate of Veteran suicide, with a focus on community engagement,
    Design and propose to Congress a program for making grants to local communities, which will increase their ability to collaborate with each other, integrate service delivery and coordinate resources to Veterans, and
    Develop a national research strategy to improve the coordination, monitoring, benchmarking and execution of research in the field of Veteran suicide prevention.” unquote.

    Same crap, same words, same lying Agenda 21 shit about “communities?” Oh so trendy and cool sounding like it just came again from a local lefty college or med school pushing out more activist/thugs than professionals.

    VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and his “partners?” He knows damn well we don’t have the public on our side, at all. Vets will be forced into VA or civvy hospitals, wards, clinics, that are staffed more by idiots and activist over merit, salt, or true professionalism with patient focused care instead of being control freaks and playing games for more money and grants. The ones including Wilkie to Trump knowing full well we are being censored to death and some being attacked or ignored like crazy but that too is okay and goes totally un-mentioned. Mental health clowns that play CEO and such but then go out and put on their ACORN, MeTOO, women’s march hats, join in with Antifa types and all those social justice warriors and moms that seem to hate us, push for red flagging laws, support censoring, fake news, support all that medical health care covering-up even if it means we or some patient dies off or is mistreated, or over “identity politics? It’s all bull shit and here comes more police state in the disguise again of “we are here to help.” Trump you SUCK along with the SES to Wilkie the scum bag yes man.

    It’s another scenario I totally disagree with the numbers. I am not drinking their Kool-Aid. Accidental over-doses by the bottles full pain meds, or a mix, and some call it accidental or the vet didn’t understand the directions????? Those damn evil pills. It was suicide dumb asses. What about the count of vets as stated before about planned accidental death to ensure insurance pay outs for the family? You know like hunting accidents after years of hunting experience or getting drunk then after being suicidal, making statements, goes and sits on RR tracks or steps in front of a Semi doing 50 to 70 mph? Oops accidental. Or just goes missing, or would rather live in the streets and die there instead of playing VA and gubbermint games. Forcing us into desperate actions due to incompetent care, the cover-ups, living in constant pain, or forced into some kind of no win situations at the VA or elsewhere. Forcing many to the streets as advised to do for street dope for pain control, tightening DUI laws, increasing fines and punishments? Oh what a flipping circus this all is.

      • I think I’ve voted my last time. It’s all a two party game of back and forth, circus, musical chairs and lies. Last three/four and beyond POTUS’, I (and others) can’t get back-up or investigations going for basic civil rights violations, HIPPA or disability laws, HHS and others refuse to get involved and play pass the buck and run-a-round games, Constitutional or Bill of Rights protections or laws we are supposed to have, zero. Not locally or in this state though. So signing papers in DC have no weight in some states or far left run corrupt towns like mine. Violations of abuse of powers, public trust issues to severe and chronic professional misconduct goes protected and excused.

        Like VA disability is well known and documented as exempt from bankruptcies. Not in Indiana. Just like the racist hate for white people that has gone on for years or the social justice warriors to the college kids and their leaders love to join in with state agencies and others for some retribution or retaliation while we seek some real justice and transparency. So those trash at the top including the congress varmints over everything (as activist too like with DHS) who is in total control over everything out there is not there for all of us.

  10. Sucide by vets will increase as we are forced to have an incompetent mh system put on the low class of treatment for vet by social workers. I left the VA MH in Alanta because all they have are pill pushers and women who have never served on the military, let alone combat. Vets telling women about combat is like women telling men about child birth !

  11. Instead of Govt giving butt load of money to prevent Vet Suicide (posters, bs call centers), why don’t they send all Veterans surveys about what they think is wrong with VAHC and if they were to contemplate ending their lives….Why? I would venture to guess those statistics would be a resounding, “No one cares to listen, I am in pain”, and all the cue card answers are the same, No pain meds for Vets. You will suffer because I do not want my license flagged as a pill dispenser. With that lack of compassion, why else would Vets blow their brains? How many numbers of VA suicides have we seen with pills in the last 2 decades? Comparing how many Vets are badly bodily broken, and lack of any form of medication to relieve that pain or even give them a 30% chance of improvement (as CDC guidelines recommend for Chronic pain patients)-VA rewrote their own guidelines to include “No pain meds for Veterans unless they have “end stage Cancer.”
    Then, add the whole demographic Providers who have never served in the Military, can barely speak English and think they are in their 3rd World Countries where they never had to be nice to people, PERIOD, and you have the perfect VAHC mentality: Give me a pay check to show up, plenty of Holidays and I have won the American lottery! They can’t fire me, because I can’t be sued, and I can write anything in a chart that justifies my every action, even if it is a dog face lie.
    4 years ago, I heard the Conference meeting for VA Mental Health Directors…deny treating the Veterans pain and this will result in less office visits (because now all pain is managed by Anesthesiologists-who have taken a short course in Pain Management~and own the Rehab Centers- and had direction to reduce pain medication prescriptions by 80%), we will save $ by denying meds, office visits, and Veterans will leave the VA.

    • Because their friends and family warned them against going into that VA system, i know mine did. Society’s role in veterans suicides needs to be examined further

  12. From Stanford Study “rampant errors and a backlog of appeals cases involving veterans’ benefits.”

  13. Maybe this is why I got the call today out of the blue to reschedule my mental health appt? “A real piece of work” … I’ve only been out of the MH system for 6 months and never received a call before

  14. Trump has nothing to do with this huge mess Democrat’s have left him, he has been in office for two years. This crap on Veterans has been going on for decades. So to blame Trump is part of the problem, you must know the real issue’s and not just use it as a political stage to prop up a candidate etc… Some of the Veterans was most likely turned down by VA more than once when they tried to get healthcare or other benefits. And the real issue is very simple but most people don’t want to believe it so they just discount it. That is the chemicals so many of us was exposed to when in service. They cause a hundred different conditions, and Government knew this but kept exposing us. They want us dead. We are after mess they need to clean up. Many of the people who commit suicide is older Veterans who was exposed to TCE,PCE, and benzene etc… and was sick but never helped, the VA covered it with desert Storm Veterans in 1990. And then ordered that those chemicals are stopped being used in 1995. If asked or questioned the answer was war veterans first, and all others was just trying to get free benefits, but now we know that was false, so much evidence is out there. They literally changed peoples DNA, and screwed them over badly, and walked away. Many do not want to face long times in care facilities, or nursing homes, or suffer for years before the damage is out of their hands so they do what they feel they must. After all who wants to suffer for a few years, and loose everything you might be lucky to save back for family over a Government who poisoned you and don’t give a crap. When it is time, and everyone’s backs are turned from you, you must do what you must. it is a shame, but life is hard and some people are born with the silver spoon and others are according to VA not worth even helping, they are made out to be liars and trash and VA has refused to help them. Many times VA makes sure they loose everything along the way, so they can’t fight back and have nothing but a beat up crippled life to look forward to. Only changes to VA will help veterans as they are the problem, not the Veterans. No amount of campaigns, or committee’s will fix VA, until some president has the balls to take it back for Veterans. Stop their lies, and scams to screw over Veterans. VA stopped working for Veterans years ago, and started working for the lawyers, and judges, and the insurance company they become. It is only about liability and not about Veterans.

    • Yes, Timothy, it has been going on for decades. The first decade started with the GOP Reagan and Bush I administrations. Then the Clintons were no different, especially when the GOP took over the House. That was followed by 8 years of Bush II. No, President Obama didn’t do much either for veterans. And what has Trump done? Nothing yet.

      But then I did get called back for mental health therapy week before last after having been kicked out on December 7, 2018.

  15. “Despite increasing the output to 85,000 cases over the last year, the BVA continues to tout a 94 percent accuracy rate.”

    “A judge often has no more than an hour to review thousands of pages in the record.”

    “’I could have integrity here or I could stay employed,’ one [BVA] judge confided.” The judge would rather stay employed with the agency than take another job and keep his/her integrity…wow “what a beauty”

    “Delay, deny, hope they die”

    “When the quality review team deemed the decision error-free and the case was appealed further, it was still remanded – sent back to the agency – nearly three-fourths of the time.”

  16. Think about that comment: ” I could have integrity OR I could stay employed” — sounds like most C&P examiners too….real beauties working for VA

    • The indoctrinated elite. Tragic but funny, also covers about seventy five percent of the American workforce.

  17. Well, I will say this: I did not know that EVERY person serving for ANY length of time was eligible for VA benefits—which is what BK asserts Trump has done. So, if this is true, why is there still any sort of C&P process? If every soldier (one presumes BK meant all service persons, and not just soldiers) is automatically in the VA, the problems with C&P are over! Hurray!

    Except…I don’t think so. And I note how BK let the whole “…we are with you” horseshit slide right by. He’s worried about big government. I’m worried about getting health care and buying food.

    As to the actual EO, it’s horseshit, too. Another chance to privatise a core VAHC responsibility, and to rope in Depts. with no objective stake in the matter—DoD & HS.

    If the President wanted to help—actually help, not just spoon pablum into the waiting mouths of Veteran Voters—he could direct the VA to resume Pain Management care of veterans, recognising that combat injuries are often deeply destructive, with complex residuals which are not “repairable”. Gunshot wounds are not the same as chronic back pain. Being blown up is not the same as “getting” a concussion. Stop treating Veterans who have suffered combat injuries like “everyone else”.

    Of course, I don’t think they should be treating “everyone else” with broad strokes either, but if we’re going to claim we will “never forget” (lol), then how about making a start by not forgetting that combat injuries are very different than the growth-industry “chronic pain” that supposedly created the so-called opiate crisis? Instead of sending out more “guidelines” which are enforced like rules, why not direct old Secretary Wilkie to ensure that every Veteran has full access to multi-disciplinary Pain Manegement? Not just whatever is trendy—PT, Accunpuncture, Mindfulness, etc…—but all of them, including Narcotic Analgesics.

    And put the money your wasting on Committes and “connectivity” into more resources for VA Mental Health; more Drs, more clinicians, more training, more facilities, more staff support. Don’t just stick it straight into your buddy’s pocket.

  18. I don’t know about other communities but the one I live in is EXTREMELY HOSTILE(!!!!!) towards Veterans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When they say, “Thank you for your service.” They are thinking, “FUCK YOU, YOU PIECE OF SHIT! WHY DON”T YOU JUST DIE TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY GREATER!”

    I actually had someone say that to my face. They are damned lucky they are still alive. They said it to the right Veteran because I will not engage but I know some that would not stop jumping up and down on their deceased body until someone shoved them off.

    FUCK YOU trump YOU DRAFT DODGING PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT!!!!!

  19. I live in a lonely world of depression and think of suicide daily. So many medical problems it seems like the way out, but for 10 years held off. VA is a training system for those who graduate in the lowest 10% and leave for greener pastures after killing a few off and learning. The VA is a system designed to give veterans a second chance to die for their country.

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