February 21. 2016
When asked to defend pushing the rumor of "22 veteran suicides a day" the groups say "its just a number" and that shows how little they really know. We see the headlines on newspapers all over the country about this group raising awareness when they are not even aware of what the truth is. Nothing will change as long as we allow a lie to live on while they do not.
They were more than numbers to their families and friends. Their lives were more worthy than anything we've done after all these years.
Their families suffer. This is a story of a husband and wife but don't kid yourself that this is the only one like it. It isn't.
There was Army recruiter Nils Aron Andersson
When Andersson killed himself on March 6, 2007, he became one of at least 16 Army recruiters to commit suicide nationwide since 2000. Five of those suicides occurred in Texas, including three at the Houston Recruiting Battalion, where Andersson worked after serving two tours of duty in Iraq.There were five suicides in that unit from 2001 to 2008 and two of them came in August of 2008. But why talk about any of that or what this all does to families? After all, everyone wants all of this tied up in a little number they put on a patch instead of doing something about any of this to actually save their lives.
Police found her sprawled on her bed wearing Andersson's fatigue jacket and dog tags. She was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m. March 7, 2007 — one day after Andersson killed himself, and two days after their wedding.
Suicide Claims 14th Marine From a Unit Battered by LossFlashback to report of veterans and attempted suicide.
"Mr. Schlagel’s death Dec. 9 was the 14th suicide in his military unit — the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment — since the group returned from a bloody tour in Afghanistan in 2008. Many other members have attempted suicide, one just three days after Mr. Schlagel’s death." And that report came out the end of 2015.
Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's mental health director, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee that the e-mail was in poor tone _ even though the body contained "appropriate, healthy dialogue" about the data.(Keep in mind that those 12,000 veterans were from veterans in the VA system and not from the millions of veterans not in their system.)
"I deeply regret the subject line," Katz said. "It was an error and I apologize for that."
The e-mail claims 12,000 veterans a year attempt suicide while under department treatment. "Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?" the e-mail asks.
That report came out in 2008. Committee chairman accuses VA of criminal negligence, The Associated Press, by Kimberly Hefling. If you check the link to the Washington Post it does work. Much like a lot of things that get broken over time. I checked online and the report is still on CNN. In that article there was this little quote. "Peake denied there was any attempt to downplay the numbers on suicides among veterans."
The link is still live on Wounded Times. The truth is still the truth no matter if they want to review history or not. That's the sickest thing of all. We don't review history and that is why nothing gets fixed.
For veterans it is the same struggles year after year after year but the general public believes this is all new to them. Bet they are still looking for the leprechaun in Lucky Charms but this pot isn't gold after all they went through. It is filled with regrets while their pride has been rusting away.
How would you feel? Look at all they did for us and all we allowed to happen to them. Yet most of them would go back if this country of theirs asked them to.
While most of the folks in this country are running around using "22 a day" as the number of veterans committing suicide each day, when confronted they say its just a number. WTF? If they are not important enough to actually read the original report stating clearly that number should be used as it was. An average from 21 states using limited data. Oh but why bother doing some work on this when everyone is just using the "22 a day" as if they are guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar?
Just a number? Seriously? Then why bother to use a number at all? Why bother to do anything on suicides if you think they were just a number? Hell, while we're on the subject, if you don't know the facts, then you need to stop talking because you are part of the problem. We're talking about at least 73 a day if the numbers from the CDC are correct and factoring in reports from each state that veterans commit suicide double the civilian population rate.
They still don't know what they need to be aware of so they can heal!
Now reporters are pushing another rumor. This time it is as if veterans never faced calling the suicide prevention hotline to be put on hold or sent into voice mails.
Va. says suicide hotline improvements were in the works
February 17, 2016
Improvements were underway at the Veterans Affairs suicide hotline well before the VA inspector general issued a report last week that faulted the service for failing to help some veterans, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday.
Responding to a report that found some calls made to the Veterans Crisis Line in 2014 went to voicemail after being routed to backup facilities run by contractors, Gibson said the Veterans Crisis Line, headquartered in Canandaigua, New York, is “staffed by committed, hard-working employees” who save lives every day.
“It is important for veterans and our key stakeholders to know that VA undertook actions to strengthen Veterans Crisis Line operations long before publication of the inspector general report,” Gibson said in a blog post on the VA’s website.
The VA IG launched its investigation in early 2015 after receiving complaints from callers who said they had been placed on hold, did not receive immediate help or were routed to voicemail when they tried to use the service. read more here
This is from February of 2008
Veterans Suicide Hotline Still Telling Them To Wait?
"We got a hotel room and talked. Monday morning we waited for the lady that the hotline said would call him. When 0900 rolled around and we had not heard from anyone, he called the number the hotline gave him. She didn't answer and he left a message. We kept waiting. Then he called the VA suicide hotline again. They told him that the psychologist had 24 hours to call him and to please be patient. I lost it! I was angry! How can they ask someone that is thinking about killing themselves to wait 24 hours for someone to call them back?! Yes he was with friends when he called them the day before, but that didn't mean that he could not have gone ahead and done it if he wanted to. I told him to call the VA directly."And this is from March of 2008 Suicides Seen Among Vets Treated By VA
"Now, CBS News has obtained never-before seen patient data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, detailing the growing number of suicide attempts among vets recently treated by the VA.We don't talk about the number of suicides in the military or why they got so high while reporters ignored the fact that the number of men and women serving has gone down by the thousands. We don't talk about the fact that veterans came out of the military after they were trained in "prevention" that didn't work.
The data reveals a marked overall increase - from 462 attempts in 2000 to 790 in 2007.
"This is highly statistically significant," said Dr. Bruce Levin, head of the biostatistics department at Columbia University. Levin is one of three experts who analyzed the data for CBS News.
"I'd characterize it as something that deserves further attention," Levin said. "Overall the data suggests about a 44 percent increase and that is not due to chance."
According to the experts, two age groups stood out between 2000 and 2007. First, ages 20-24 - those likely to have served during the Iraq-Afghan wars. Suicide attempts rose from 11 to 47.
And for vets ages 55 to 59, suicide attempts jumped from 19 to 117.
In both age groups, the attempted suicides grew at a rate much faster than the VA patient population as a whole.
In addition, this VA study, also obtained exclusively by CBS News, reveals the increasing number of veterans who recently received VA services ... and still succeeded in committing suicide: rising from 1,403 suicides in 2001 to 1,784 in 2005 - figures the VA has never made public."
"The Defense Department runs 900 suicide prevention programs, yet the number of military suicides has more than doubled since 2001, the head of the Pentagon’s suicide prevention office told lawmakers Thursday." March 2013 NextgovBut why bother to talk about facts or how it got this bad when we can pull use a number that is not true and the pretend we're going to change anything. Nothing changed because too many just didn't care enough to learn what the truth is. Truth is a very strange thing. It is still real no matter if we acknowledge it or not. Much like many believed the earth was flat, the reality is that it was always round but it was easier for them to believe the lie because that was the popular belief.
I prefer to believe we can do better for their sake but we won't be able to unless we prove we really care to learn what the truth is.