Pulling At Thread Of VA Suicide Reveals Complex Knot Of Problems Ranging From Lack Of Services To Stigma Over Seeking Care
Recent deaths highlight the fact that, despite a concerted effort to focus resources on the problem, little progress is being made to combat veteran suicides. That is due in part to the complex factors at play: About 70 percent of veterans don't seek care through the VA, because of stigma and other issues. And for those who do reach out for help, staff can often lack proper training in suicide prevention. Other factors include the agency's debilitating leadership turmoil in recent years and easy access to guns for vets.
The New York Times:
V.A. Officials, And The Nation, Battle An Unrelenting Tide Of Veteran Suicides
Three veterans killed themselves last week on Department of Veterans Affairs health care properties, barely a month after President Trump announced an aggressive task force to address the unremitting problem of veteran suicide. Mr. Trump’s executive order was a tacit acknowledgment of what the deaths rendered obvious: The department has not made a dent in stemming the approximately 20 suicide deaths every day among veterans, about one and a half times more often than those who have not served in the military, according to the most recent statistics available from the department. (Steinhauer, 4/14)