Sunday, January 13, 2013

Army psychologist couldn't heal himself, lost battle to PTSD

UPDATE January 17, 2013
Department of Veterans Affairs Statement on Dr. Peter Linnerooth

Former Army psychologist critical of military commits suicide
By Andy Greder, Sarah Horner and Will Ashenmacher
Pioneer Press
Posted: 01/13/2013

On Jan. 2, Linnerooth, 42, killed himself in Mankato.

Linnerooth was awarded a Bronze Star after an honorable discharge in 2008 and became critical of the military's limited work on providing mental health care to soldiers, especially to those with PTSD, in the pages of Time magazine and the New York Times. Capt. Linnerooth will be buried with full military honors at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

"He was really, really suffering," Linnerooth's widow, Melanie Walsh, told Time for its story on his death. "And it didn't matter that he was a mental health professional, and it didn't matter that I was a mental health professional. I couldn't help him, and he couldn't help himself."
We tell them to seek help to heal from where they've been. Linnerooth not only did that, he tried to be there for others to go to. He was aware of burnout and tried to do something about that too. As a psychologist, his family would have known enough to know how to support him. Everything seems to have been in place for him to be able to heal. So what didn't work? What has been failing him and far too many others everyday in this country?

The latests figures are at least 22 veterans a day take their own lives but the national media outlets are not interested in reporting these stories. What is worse is that no one is being held accountable for any of this.
Former Capitola veteran Peter Linnerooth loses battle with PTSD
By Shanna McCord
Santa Cruz Sentinel

He was the lead author of a 2011 piece on such "professional burnout" among his peers who, like him, had gone off to witness the worst of war.

SANTA CRUZ -- Peter J.N. Linnerooth, a Bronze Star-winning Army psychologist, died earlier this month after a long battle with post traumatic stress disorder. He was 42.

The Army captain who worked as a counselor at the Santa Cruz County Vet Center in Capitola from 2009 to 2011 took his own life on Jan. 2 in Mankato, Minn.

Linnerooth served in the Army from 2003 to 2008, working primarily as a mental health officer helping combat troops deal with the anxiety and depression associated with post traumatic stress disorder, a severe mental illness he also suffered.

He is credited with helping hundreds of soldiers with mental health illnesses throughout his Army career, but could not find solace himself.

Friends such as Santa Cruz resident Jeremiah Ridgeway, 30, described Linnerooth as a friendly guy, easy to talk to and easy to relate with.

Linnerooth and Ridgeway, an Army veteran who spent 15 months in Afghanistan, worked together at the Santa Cruz County Vet Center on 41st Avenue.

"The young guys coming back from Iraq loved him because he's been there as well," Ridgeway said Saturday. "I could see the impact of what he did for these guys. He's just a great guy."

Family and friends said Linnerooth returned from a year deployment in Iraq a changed man.

The time he spent in Iraq, August 2006 to August 2007, came at what is considered one of the bloodiest points in the ongoing war -- the height of the surge.
read more here