Veteran suicide is a serious…
Veteran suicide is a serious issue that must never be taken lightly
Veteran suicide has become a sadly glaring issue in American society. When 22 American veterans commit suicide on a daily basis, it’s time to pay attention to what’s really happening. America still allocates 21 percent of the national budget on military spending, which means more soldiers are coming through the ranks, to one day retire as veterans. This will add to the number of Americans in danger of dying via suicide, due to mental illness acquired during service. When those who fight for us to keep our basic rights are dying via their own hand, it’s time to pay attention.
Task and Purpose, a website geared toward speaking out about such issues, quotes an article from the LA Times, claiming that veteran deaths happen among those who have been deployed and those who have not. Therefore, the issue is not one solely of war trauma. The issue, according to Task and Purpose, actually comes from the transition between wearing the uniform, then no longer wearing it, and the federal government’s inability to help soldiers handle the transition. While the programs in place are effective, they do not do enough to help soldiers move to civilians again.
The Programs in Place
There are a number of different programs in place for veterans, from help going to college to getting a veteran into the teaching field. Veterans have crisis hotlines, at 1-800-273-8255, and at veteranscrisisline.net, state veteran benefits, job trainings through the Veteran’s Association (VA), and special medical care for physical afflictions. The VA has provided a mental health connection at www.mentalhealth.va.gov, and has kickstarted a campaign to raise PTSD awareness. All these programs are available for veterans, so why do we still have a high rate of suicide?
What We Can Do
As citizens, we should not place all the responsibility of transitioning on government programs. Whether they served for a short time, for a long time, or not at all, we owe it to our veterans to help care for them when they return from service. Statistically, the first three years are the hardest for acclimation back into society, and this is when we must be the most diligent. Knowledge is power; understanding issues such as PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues that lead to suicide is key. Knowing where the local VA office is located, and getting information for civilians who never served, but who support a solider, is also important. The information is available to everyone, not just military personnel, so a quick Google search will provide a wealth of information for anyone supporting a veteran. Reducing the amount of veteran suicides must be a priority in the transition from uniform to suit and tie, and currently, that’s not the case. The tides are changing, but, as citizens, it’s essential for us to educate ourselves and learn how to best help our veterans. It’s never easy dealing with these changes. Using the available resources as citizens, educating ourselves, and learning how to help others is our best defense against bringing the number 22 down to 0.
Call Vancouver Home Health Agency today to find out more, and to find out how to help locally.
At Vancouver Home Health Agency, caring and compassion is our business.