VA & Suicide Prevention
Veteran substance abuse and suicide prevention continues to be a topic of concern for those who served, especially in the wars of the last two decades.
Concerns about the level of care the Department of Veterans Affairs is long standing and not surprising due to all the expected problems you have with large, bureaucratic, government departments.
Gaps in care and waiting lists are one thing - but not all the problems vets face can survive a waiting list - especially those who are thinking about suicide.
If you have someone in your life who has suffered from deep depression or thoughts of suicide, then you know how time critical things can be for them to get help and recover before they take actions that they cannot return from.
Minutes matter. For some, they will only open a window for help for a brief time before it closes again.
30 days. Should a veteran who needs help working through suicidal thoughts have to wait 30 days?
In the below video from yesterday’s hearing on "Combatting a Crisis: Providing Veterans Access to Life-saving Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment" in the Subcommittee on Health Oversight, I’d recommend you go to the 1:20 mark where the conversation starts between Representative Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) and friend to the blog and all around mensch Tom Sauer.
This isn’t about bashing the VA, but looking at ways the VA can bring in other organizations and service providers - and change expectations - to better address a problem that no one thinks is getting the attention it needs.
Listen to the end as the comments by Representative Mariannette Jane Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Representative Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) are also well worth listening to.
Miller-Meeks commentary about how one treats “red eye” vs how we react to suicidal thoughts brings the issue to the front.
30 days to get help? Should be 30 hours.