This Friday the VA, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, will be holding Suicide Prevention and Awareness Fairs at all of Florida’s clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Katherine Eicher is the lead suicide prevention coordinator at the VA Clinic for North Florida and South Georgia.
“We are facing such a national crisis when it comes to veteran suicides, that is astronomical. Many are not even connected to VA healthcare systems.. 20% of all suicides and our veteran population is less than 9% of the overall population, so statistically this is off the charts.” said Eicher.There is so much left out of this report, it is hard to know where to begin. So we should start with the way it ends instead? Isn't that what all the years of raising awareness have brought us to?
They brought us to endings that did not have to happen.
They brought us to coffins that did not need to be filled.
They brought us to questions lingering within the minds of family members and friends blaming themselves for what they got wrong.
Someone said that these "awareness" groups are harmless and the "number" of veterans they claim are committing suicide, is just an easy number to remember.
If that was the case, then they would have known that the number was from just 21 states, not 50. The number came with a warning that it was not to be taken as a whole.
The number, that notorious number, has not really changed since 1999 when there were over 5 million more veterans living in this country at the time.
But that was before these groups, became aware they could turn raising awareness about veterans killing themselves, into a business. Wonder what all of them would have done if they knew as much as they do now about all this?
My bad! It turns out, they still do not have a clue. The VA is not your enemy! They have been saving veterans all along and have a lot of things to help you heal. It is not just "take a pill" and you need to look up what else they offer.
You also need to know that there are groups out there trying to get you to hear the one message you need to replace that ear worm of a number! You can #TakeBackYourLife and live better than you do right now.