On this Memorial Day
I would like to bring attention to a very sobering fact this memorial day. I have taken on a crusade, to educate about and ultimately improve veteran mental health care. Those who have given all do not lie solely on the battlefields.
Every 65 minutes, a veteran commits suicide.
This year, one of my friends...one of my troops became part of this statistic
In 2012, an additional 349 active duty (separate from veterans) committed suicide, a record number that outpaced combat LODD.
Though the VA has recently added 1,000 mental health professionals, they remain another 500+ plus below the minimum ordered by Executive Orders.
Veterans average a 50 DAY waiting period when seeking mental health, and 80% of veterans who have survived their suicide attempt had received mental health care one month before their attempt.
Because treatment must be sought through the VA, many veterans are geographically secluded.
The top three concerns cited by veterans in seeking mental health, are the wait times listed above, the distance to get to a VA, and also the lack of involvement from their family. I implore you, be involved in any way you can.
33%-the number of HIGH SUICIDE RISK veterans who, after discharge from the VA's mental health inpatient clinics, did NOT receive the recommended after care treatment of at least 4 visits in the month following discharge.
There are many ways to get involved, and I ask you to as you see fit. We as a nation can do better.
Sources can be cited on request.
No better memorial to the fallen than to remember their compatriots.