VA in rush to spend funds for suicide prevention? Seriously?
This is the headline that made advocates cringe! VA vows to spend full suicide prevention budget after revelation it left millions unused in 2018
This is December 20th! They had no plans for spending the funds, all of the nearly $5 million!
“This year, I’m making sure that we are spending the funding 100 percent,” said Dr. Steven Lieberman, who is in charge of the Veterans Health Administration. “I’m reviewing the budget monthly and making sure we have obligated all the dollars. We have to get it right.”
Excuse me? Then why didn't they before the GAO reported about them not doing it? Didn't they notice?
Well, not really that hard to believe there are a lot of things they did not notice.
Like the fact California is just adding on veterans status to death certificates so they have a clue how many veterans committed suicide there. Yes, California with the largest veterans population in the country. No need to wonder why out of the known suicides reported, Texas and Florida are tied for first place with 530.
The article went on to say a lot. Like this.
The GAO report also revealed the VA had no means to measure the effectiveness of its suicide prevention outreach campaigns. Lieberman told lawmakers that they would have a system in place to do so sometime in 2019.So, we have had veterans, at least 26 of them, doing their own outreach work, screaming for help for other veterans, because it was too late for them. Yes, that's right. At least 26 veterans committed suicide in very public ways this year.
Would be great to know exactly who gets the money and what they plan on doing with it BUT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER IF SOMEONE COULD EXPLAIN WTF HAPPENED TO ALL THE MONEY ALREADY SPENT THAT PRODUCED THE RESULTS WERE ARE SEEING EVERY DAY?
If you want to actually be aware who has been paying the price for this lack of urgency, it is loaded into a double barrel Howitzer!
In January, a Michigan veteran went to an elementary school and killed himself. In February, a Texas Army veteran was dead after facing off with SWAT.
Let's not forget about March when a veteran who was kicked out of a PTSD program in Yountville California, killed women who had dedicated their lives to help veterans, and then killed himself. But safe bet you didn't hear about the Vietnam veteran committing suicide in the Sheridan Police Department parking lot, or the Joint Base Lewis McChord Airman who committed suicide after killing his family. Or the Waterbury veteran who committed suicide by cop. Or the Air Force veteran in Oklahoma, or the soldier at Aberdeen Proving Ground, or the 62 year old veteran who committed suicide at the John Cochran VA Medical Center.
How about the 76 year old veteran in April, who killed himself in the Boynton City Hall Parking lot?
A Cannon Air Force Airman's body was found in Ned Houk Park in May. In June it was a 21 year old who committed suicide at Clarksville High School. A 38 year old veteran decided to record his awareness message in Colorado Springs and in Georgia, a Navy Veteran decided to set himself on fire at the Georgia State Capitol. A Sailor had his awareness message via walking into a helicopter blade at Norfolk Navy Yard.
Then there was July when an Air Force veteran shot his family and then himself after he set his house on fire in Alabama. In Chicago, a Police Officer/Marine veteran decided he had enough and he committed suicide in the parking lot of the police station. Here in Florida, an 85 year old veteran pulled out his gun at the VA and killed himself. In Arizona, a veteran shot himself in the VA hospital Chapel.
In August a veteran/VA employee committed suicide in Topeka VA medical center and in Mishawaka VA parking lot a veteran shot himself in the parking lot.
In September, there was the veteran who committed suicide in Minneapolis VA parking lot. a day after he was discharged.
How about October when a Greenville veteran video taped himself just before he committed suicide begging his family to forgive him?
In November, a veteran pulled out a gun in the Nashville VA lobby and ended his awareness message.
Here in Florida 10 days ago, a Retired Marine Colonel killed himself at Bay Pines.
So, please tell me if you think that the funds could have helped if they were spent during all these months.
If they are in a rush to spend the money, maybe they should pay the families for the funerals that had to take place because NO ONE TOLD THESE VETERANS THEY COULD HEAL AND HOW TO GET IT!