At-risk veterans need help on suicide, senators say

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PALLOTA -SELKEWASHINGTON — Veterans at risk of suicide have to wait too long to get mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs, senators said Wednesday at a hearing to learn how to stem the rising number of suicides.

“We cannot have someone call in for an appointment and have to wait five weeks to get help,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told VA representatives. “The VA has to start planning and requesting necessary resources now.”

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a higher risk for suicide than the general U.S. population, said Harold Kudler, the chief mental health services consultant for the VA’s Health Administration.

Find Your Job at HireVeteran.comThe number of veterans receiving specialized mental health treatment from the VA has increased each year, from 927,052 in 2006 to more than 1.4 million in 2013.

The VA has 150 medical centers, 820 community outpatient clinics, 300 vet centers for counseling, a crisis line and staff at colleges and university across the country. It still needs more, Kudler told the members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

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  1. Carnaptious- if young doctors, PAs, NPs, and other health workers are precocious maybe they can better get in the heads of people who have undergone some legit trauma like being abandoned and watching lots of fellow young Marines die , get captured, tortured to death, etc, or the young decent woman who gets raped and brutalized. For military, a lot of the men are traumatized because of the killing they do but most do it to protect themselves and those with them. These young men really did not know just what they were getting into .
    In the psych fields I think that older doctors and psychologists might have a better understanding because they have lived longer and should have a better understanding of the bum deals that can be dealt to people. I wish it was easier for many to just get by on counseling, but sleep, nightmares , and anxiety disorders are usually overwhelming at times.

    • Thanks. I must have chip on shoulder- through the years stuck up for traumatized- never babied anyone, never sought attention, sympathy, or money, but was deleted from a federal job after 9-11 for speaking the truth which should have been self evident to the bureaucrats; seems same thing happened in Corps 45 years ago.
      Other stuff went on and those like me go it alone. We took the hits. I can see why people with nice families keep quiet because they need the paychecks (don’t we all) but I thought for things really criminal that 30out of 30 employees would vote to do the right thing but seems 2 out of the 30 did. Sayonara for some of us. We go it alone.

  2. I wonder why anyone who served in the Marine Corps or Army would feel depressed or angry or betrayed or confused- confused about what life should be in the USA or anywhere. Hell, in USA we have few factories with job openings and was it over 4 – 10 million jobs went to China , Mexico over the past 30 years.
    Or could someone wonder why if they go to an ER for a cough they get billed over $1000.00. Or why their rent in dumb….USA is 900 a month or near a bigger city 2000 a month.
    Or if they are feeling bad/down, they are given SSRIs and if they already know they are non responder to SSRIs and furthermore they are that 40% that get excessively nervous, fearful, and miserable on SSRIs, the health provider says to give it 3 weeks to work when it is never going to work in that 40% of people.
    And if this vet or anyone says they cannot handle these supposed serotonin wonder drugs, they are told “well there is not much we do”.
    It’s a cookbook- you follow step A, then B, etc, and then in 2014 they (our wise comfortable sages who have never had any bad stuff done to them) made tramadol a controlled substance and refused to say that its serotonin and norepinephrine effects are what makes it so unique for anxiety and depression in many people but our enlightened doctors who have never had to suffer say we had to ban it and make it controlled because it has an effect on the mu opioid receptor. Yet, it has been around for 40 years in Germany and other European countries.

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