The V.A. Announced new suicide figures in early September, 2008, revealing the alarming suicide rate of our veterans. The report further indicates young male veterans in their 20’s are at the highest risk.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) indicated male veterans between the ages of 18 to 29, commit suicide, at a rate more than double for male civilians of the same age. The report further concludes veterans, within this age range, commit suicide at a rate higher than all other veterans (45.82 per 100,000). These figures were based on death statistics for the year 2006 and only includes veterans within the VA system.
This news is alarming considering the reported number of troops who died, in the line of duty, in the year of 2006 is around 3000. We keep hearing about our troops dying at the hands of the enemy. We aren’t informed regarding the troops who die by their own hand on the home front.
The VA health system is rumored to be rather difficult to navigate with complaints of long waits for basic care, medications and follow-up consultations and visits. There are complaints appropriate mental health services are not being offered, by the VA, to our young men.
The need for the appropriate mental health care, for our troops, should begin before they enter the battle field and continue after they finally return home safely. There have been strong accusations the VA has downplayed the incidence of suicide rates amongst our nation’s veterans. The recent investigation into these accusations was prompted by Washington lawmakers.
Veterans for Common Sense, a non-profit advocate group, sued the VA last year, calling for an overhaul of the system. They further claim suicide is a serious issue for those who have served in the military, and the VA has had a pattern of under estimating the severity of this problem.
The VA has been operating a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline since July. This hotline has reportedly received more than 62,000 calls to date.
According to the VA the following is a list of key suicide warning signs:
2. Rage, seeking revenge, uncontrolled anger.
3. Risk taking or reckless behavior
4. Feeling trapped, like there is no way out.
5. Talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself.
6. Saying or feeling there’s no reason for living.
7. Talking or writing about dying, death or suicide.
8. Attempting to get pills, guns, or other ways to harm oneself
If you or a loved on is experiencing any of the above or needs help call 1-800-273-TALK
If you need a Veteran Medical Malpractice Lawyer contact American Injury News: 1-866-571-1493