Veteran Suicides On The Rise
An estimated eighteen veterans commit suicide daily, according to a report by the Army Times.
With multiple tours of duty for military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers are projected to keep rising. An Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America report states that in March 2012, 28 soldiers reportedly took their own lives. The month before 15 suicides were reported, according to the U.S. Army.
In 2011, the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) reported an average of 950 suicide attempts each month in 2009. Seven percent of those attempts were successful while 11 percent of those who didn’t succeed the first time tried again in nine months.
The VA has committed to adding an additional 1600 mental health care providers, which averages out to 1.5 new personnel per facility. Many experts question whether the added staff will have any real impact on the mental health issues facing veterans – such as suicide and PTSD.
What do you think? I’d like to hear your stories of your experiences with the VA’s mental health services.
R Goosens ,My opinion of some of the V A was not formed quickly ,but over 40 + years my self ! Not all my dealings with the V A have been bad , but enough , that I no longer trust them and in my opinion any body who blindly Trusts them will get a very rude awakening !
During my 40+ years of using the VA, I feel like the VA has saved my life on multiple occasions. Help has come from inpatient care, outpatient care, and domicilaries. I am a grateful veteran. I don’t understand the quick judgments against the VA by some. When I was suicidal, the VA was there for me.
I don’t trust the V A . And I won’t ever let them do inpatient Mental heath or lock me up again ! It was deplorable . excrement on the walls ( not mine ) . no access to the hospital chaplin or patient advocate . denied my reading glasses then the staff became angry and unprofessional when I refused to sign documents I couldn’t read . I was given the wrong meds on several occasions by the same two nurses who just laughed at me and said they knew it . I signed myself in but when I told them I wanted to leave They threatened a court ordered commitment and what they called convolsive therapy ( electric shock therapy ) and protective isolation (padded room solitary ) . I had never acted agressively to any one there .I had called the hot line because of an attempted suicide after losing my part time job because I told my boss that the V A wanted me to have knee and back surgury stemming from injuries recieved in a helocopter crash in 1973 . I think this all happened in 2008 or 2009 kind of a blur .
EVERY person returning from a war zone should have a follow up phone call within 2-3 weeks of their return. Then there should be another one a month or so later. Living near Camp LeJeune and hearing stories from current and former Marines/Navy, they need that personal touch from the VA. Alot of them turn to alcohol as a crutch…they are crying for help. The VA should seek volunteers from the civilian sector to help reorientate these heroes.
The VA is a hindrance to many Vets. Instead of being a gateway to the health and welfare to those that have volunteered their lives for their country, the VA focuses more on ways to nickel and dime Veterans. Their overall mission seems to be to drive veterans away by frustrating them to the point of suicide. There is no way the VA can bring suicide rates down until they rebuild that organization with the best services for the veteran in mind. Until then, its just talking points. The same ol’ same ol’.
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