Sunday, November 22, 2015

Walk For PTSD Awareness Forgot About 50 Others

How Does False Awareness Change Anything?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 22, 2015



Not a great way to start a Sunday morning at 6:30 when I opened my email to find an alert about another "awareness" group making the news.

How many more groups pop up all over the country, getting folks to walk to raise awareness while kicking in money for what is false?

How many more times does it have to be pointed out that the VA Suicide Report was an average from 21 states using limited data before they actually get it right?

How many more times does it have to be reported that veterans commit suicide double the civilian rate?

The truth is when you use reports of suicides in America, then factor in the reality you arrive at 73 veterans a day committing suicide. So who is making anyone aware of the other 50 forgotten about in all of this?
The word Apocalypse has been flooding my brain lately when I read reports about suicides tied to the military. The rate of veterans committing suicide is double the civilian population with the majority of them being over 50. Then there is the other figure of young veterans committing suicide at triple the rate of their civilian peers.

It isn't as if these reports have not been made public but it appears all these folks doing the talking and walking didn't take the time to understand what is real and what is simply an "easy number" to remember. When all is said and done the hardest number to remember is the family member no longer here.
Veterans are double the civilian rate then for every one civilian there are two veterans. That would mean there are 26,666 veterans committing suicide every year and not 8,030 people keep repeating when they say "22 a day" are veteran lives lost to suicide. We know that most of them are tied to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and until we get the wrong information out of the way, we'll never be closer to actually making them aware of what really works.

The other sad truth is that the majority of these veterans are over the age of 50.  Look up most of the new groups and you'll find they are only interested in Afghanistan and Iraq veterans as if the older veterans don't matter at all to anyone.

There is yet another group Operation23tozero
He encourages people to check out Operation 23 to Zero, which takes donations to fund future programs and events and also provides access to resources, such as phone numbers and links for those who are struggling or know someone who is.
They may be fine folks with good intentions however they don't seem to have factual information. Maybe someone should ask all the other "awareness" folks why they don't do their own research before they get into the business of sharing what has already been proven wrong?

Wounded Times has links all over the country and has plenty of information within the over 25,000 posts topped off with over 30 years of research and living with Combat related PTSD but it is all given out for free.  Sharing information costs nothing but time.

Sure I'll gladly accept donations to cover what I have to buy but when nothing comes in, I have a paying job to cover expenses doing this. I lose a couple of thousand a year.  Most of the leaders in Point Man International Ministries operate the same way. Our job is, as it has been, to lead the way out of darkness and toward living a better quality of life.  The kicker is, Point Man started working on PTSD in 1984. I started in 1982 because I met, fell in love with a Vietnam veteran I am still married to.

What works is simple and basic but no one has time to discover what has been done since Vietnam veterans came home and fought for all of it.

So how does anyone honestly say they are raising awareness when they are not telling folks the facts and using a number that has been dissected since it was released? As for reporters, they don't even ask questions at all.
GALLERY: From Faribault to Waseca, 3-Legion walk raises awareness of veteran suicide
County News
By JACOB STARK
November 21, 2015
The event was hosted by Operation 23 to Zero, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about issues like veteran suicide and post traumatic stress disorder.

Flags led the way down State Street as many walkers with rucksacks rounded out a several mile journey intended to raise awareness of high suicide rates among veterans.

The Three-Legion Ruck occurred all day Saturday, encouraging people from all over the upper Midwest to participate in a 25-mile walk that started in the morning at the Faribault American Legion before going to the Legion post in Morristown and ending at the Waseca post in the early evening.

"There's a statistic going around that up to 22 veterans a day commit suicide," said Jeremiah Miller, who helped organize the event. This statistic is from a 2012 study by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
read more here
How about some other facts. Young veteran suicides are triple their peer rate. A sad statement but repulsive when you consider all the groups popping up to "raise awareness" about them don't seem to know any of this.
The suicide rate among young male veterans continues to soar: ex-servicemen 24 and younger are now three times more likely than civilian males to take their lives, according to a federal study released Friday.
The majority of Veteran Suicides are over the age of 50
The VA study found that the percentage of older veterans with a history of VA healthcare who committed suicide actually was higher than that of veterans not associated with VA care. Veterans over the age of 50 who had entered the VA healthcare system made up about 78 percent of the total number of veterans who committed suicide - 9 percentage points higher than the general pool.
The reports on Veteran Suicides being double civilian rate go back to 2007 National Institute of Mental Health June 2007 and has been unchanged.
Male veterans in the general U.S. population are twice as likely as their civilian peers to die by suicide, a large study shows.
We have had Congress addressing this since 2007 after the report of military suicides reaching a 26 year high rate of 99 soldier suicides in 2006 and they passed the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act.

Then when it didn't work, they followed up by more of the same bills that did no good at all. They came up with the Suicide Prevention Hotline
“Since its inception, the crisis line has had over 1,150,000 calls,” said Thompson of the VA’s suicide prevention program. “That’s pretty extraordinary. We’re so glad we’ve had that many calls, but of course it’s heartbreaking that people need to reach out that much.” 
Another number we don't talk about are the attempted suicides.
950 suicide attempts per month among Veterans receiving care as reported by Veterans Health Administration (VHA) suicide prevention coordinators (Oct 1, 2008 - Dec 31, 2010).
We don't talk about the fact that there are things that do work because we can't get this number right or the simple fact that after it seems everyone is doing everything to raise awareness veterans know less of what they need to know to survive back home after surviving combat.

False awareness changed nothing. How do they or any of the other 400,000 veterans charities explain any of this?


UPDATE
There is a group out there that was one of the first to raise awareness that is not included in the above rant.

22TooMany and they run to help get the word out. While research changed the totals, this groups started long before there was time to digest all of the information.

They started right after the VA report came out in 2012 and are friends of mine.