Tuesday, April 22, 2008

18 Vets a Day Commit Suicide

In a shocking story that's unfolding out of the San Francisco trial of veterans' groups class-action lawsuit against the VA, a hitherto-secret VA report shows that 18 veterans per day commit suicide. About 1000 veterans per month attempt it.

And this sad fact was -- surprise surprise -- covered up by the VA itself.

This is an appalling statistic, and this country ought to be ashamed of itself for the way it treats its veterans.

Yeah, big chance of that as long as the minions of the BFEE continue to occupy the White House. And speaking of that, what does Grampaw McCain have to say about this?



pepsiholic said...

Hey Farns, it doesn't sound like the previous administration was doing such a hot job preventing suicides either. Even before the Iraq war there were 1,403 suicides a year under VA administration.

And the "18" suicides per day... Lets compare it to the general population... The suicide rate for males in the United States is 17.9/100,000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate Now, since there are 24,000,000 vets, that works out to 12/day suicides that you would expect in the general population. So the actual increase is 6 per day greater than expected. And that's not even looking at the increase for suicide rate as you get older. For example, those males who are 75+, the suicide rate is 40.7. http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/unitstates.pdf How many million WWII vets are there that fall into that higher suicide catagory?

Now, I do think the VA should do more for the vets and their PTSD. I just know you have problems with numbers and like blowing things out of proportion :)

jae said...

April 24th, 2008 7:41 pm
Vets Call Suicide Hotline In Record Numbers

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- The number of Iraq war veterans contacting a suicide hotline soared last month, according to information revealed Thursday during a federal trial in San Francisco.

Dr. Michael Kussman, Undersecretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, was called to the stand by plaintiffs who are suing the government for failing to implement its own Mental health Strategic plan.

Kussman testified that the suicide hotline recieved 5,000 calls from veterans last month. That makes March the busiest month for the hotline since it was established in July of 2007.

"It's a failure to implement the programs to deal with these veterans. This is an epidemic of suicides with veterans coming back from the war, and there's a lot of trouble with Vietnam vets," said attorney Gordon Erspamer, who represents the plaintiffs.

War veterans are returning with severe brain injuries and suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Under intense questioning, Dr. Kussman agreed that access to mental health care is among the top complaints, but that the V.A. is ideally poised to care for veterans as they transition out of the military.

Kussman admitted 16% of V.A. facilities have no referral system for vets at risk of suicide.