September 8, 2013
The only thing we know for sure is that 2012 was the deadliest year for suicides in the military. As to what is behind all of them, it is anyone's guess considering the spending is coming from too many places and reading claims made has been like living on a roller coaster. This will leave your stomach turning and it may become hard to hold down food. This ride will not be something you'll enjoy but no one can get off this ride until we face the truth about what has been going on and we actually do something about it.
Most of the reports you'll read here are from research on Wounded Times including these reports put together when a simple search found way too many reports on what was being spent to "prevent suicides" while the numbers were going up instead of down. The spoiler alert on this came this year when yet another study was funded to actually study the studies and we spent $9 million to compare the two leading evidence-based treatments for PTSD.
2005 Health Related Behaviors Survey Released "Personnel deployed in the past three years (i.e., from 2002 to 2005), compared to those who did not deploy, had higher rates of work and family stress; higher rates of heavy alcohol use, cigarette use, and illicit drug use; and a greater number meeting criteria for depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms on the screening questions. In contrast, there were no significant differences in self-reported mental health measures among those deployed to OIF/OEF compared to those who did not serve in an operational theater." Sums up what they knew back then but have managed to deny the findings when the numbers went up. It was soon afterwards that the number of "personality disorder" discharges increased.
2005 and 2006, despite telling Congress that it was setting aside an additional $300 million for expanding mental-health services, such as PTSD programs, the VA didn't get around to spending $54 million of that, according to the Government Accountability Office.”
$980,000 Army suicide prevention contract awarded for 2007-2008 to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. "The film was produced out of a $980,000 Army suicide prevention contract awarded for 2007-2008 to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. The university has a center for the study of suicide prevention and research, says Abdoulaye Bah, a sociologist who runs that program."(Video addresses military suicides, USA Today, Gregg Zoroya, February 13, 2008)
2006 Baylor, Texas A and M University and the VA received a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materials Command to study PTSD. A portion of the three-year grant will fund research in neuroscience and computer science at Baylor.
$2.7 million. Researchers from Baylor, Texas A and M and the US Department of Veteran Affairs are working together to treat and possibly prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the collaborators recently received $2.7 million.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital received "mock check of a $1.6 million appropriation from Congress for the development of a regional post traumatic stress disorder center whose mission will ultimately help American veterans plagued by the experiences of war."
$2.7 million was handed over to a contractor to make phone calls. Yep~phone calls! 570,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were supposed to be called to find out why they hadn’t gone to the VA.
$50 million Army initiated the “Shoulder to Shoulder, No Soldier Stands Alone” program to increase suicide awareness and prevention.
$50 Million study by the National Institute for Mental Health for practical interventions for mitigating suicides and enhancing Soldier resiliency.
Air Force 45
570 attempted suicide
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism awarded researchers at the VA and the medical and public health schools at Boston University $909,000 in stimulus money to study an online treatment to see if it would ease the effects of trauma and reduce risky drinking in veterans.
“The Army's alarming suicide trend continues this year, said David Rudd, the chairman of Tech's psychology department who will head the $1.97 million Defense Department study.
$34 million University of Pennsylvania no-bid contract to develop Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and run it. $60 million to UC San Diego for PTSD and TBI research
Air Force 43
502 attempted suicide
VHA obligated $5.2 billion for mental health programs—more than a tenth of its total spending for medical care; obligations are slated to exceed $6 billion by 2012. Available services consist of outpatient specialty programs, inpatient psychiatric care, residential and vocational rehabilitation, substance use disorder care, and various local initiatives.
NIMH spent over $41 million in 97 grants, in 23 states, dedicated to helping veterans.
$168 million of additional funds will be used by the Army to sustain implementation of over 45 initiatives under the categories of access to care, resiliency, quality of care, and hiring over 300 behavioral health providers to augment behavioral health services across Army installations worldwide.
The Department of Defense and Department of the Army had spent only about $11 million over the past five years on suicide prevention research even as more and more money went to awareness campaigns and educational material, said Col. Carl Castro, director of MRMC’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program. The problem with that is the awareness and educational efforts are not proven effective. Castro’s organization will oversee the consortium.
“It may surprise you to discover that none of that training is evidence-based — it’s good ideas, experts thinking this is what we need to do, but we do not have any evidence that that training actually, in fact, prevents suicides,” Castro said. (Army devotes $17 million to suicide prevention research Swords to Plowshares, Benjamin Phillips, October 28, 2010)
Air Force 60
400 attempted suicide
$17 million “Military medical researchers say their efforts to reverse the rising number of suicides among servicemembers are based on "good ideas," but they don't know which prevention programs work and which don't.
$3 Billion for Resilience from the Marine Corps/Navy incorporated in the distribution report for war ships.
$125-million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program requires soldiers to undergo the kind of mental pre-deployment tests and training that they have always had to undergo physically. Already, more than 1.1 million have had the mental assessments.
$11 million Department of Defense grant to test two different types of exposure therapy combined with the drug D-Cycloserine (DCS) for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Emory University School of Medicine
2011 Air Force 50
241 attempted suicide
440 attempted suicide
156 attempted suicide
87 attempted suicide
Department of Defense Suicide Event Report for 2011
For 2011 there were 935 attempted suicides in the military with 915 individuals trying to kill themselves. 896 tried once, 18 tried twice and 1 tried three times.
$3.5 million grant for a research project to more effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder and ultimately prevent it from occurring.
$10 million to outsource PTSD and TBI care.
$3 million to develop a nasal spray that eclipses suicidal thoughts awarded to Indiana University School of Medicine.
$3.8 million research grant to develop a salivary-biomarker approach for identifying individuals at future risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following a traumatic event to UCLA School of Dentistry. Problem is, the Army started the same study in 2009. "Researchers will also interview serving soldiers. Some will be asked to provide saliva and blood samples to try to establish whether there is a genetic reason why some people are more likely than others to take their own lives."
$4.1 million to establish an Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention to Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
$2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the effect of the Transcendental Meditation
$100 million in research to improve diagnosis and treatment of mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. This year, approximately 3,400 researchers will work on more than 2,300 projects with nearly $1.9 billion in funding.
$100 million in federal grants fund research into post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury to Fort Detrick.
$7.7 million grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) to study the most effective way to implement Prolonged Exposure therapy, an effective and efficient treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among mental health practitioners who treat soldiers suffering from this disorder.
$677,000 to University of Kentucky from Department of Defense Military Suicide Research Consortium study involving 100 families for two years to see how they felt after losing member to suicide.
$1.7 billion to fund vital Soldier and Family programs to provide a full range of essential services to include the Army Campaign for Heath Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention; Sexual Harassment/Assault
$1.3 million Michigan Public Health to study "resiliency in military families."
We know that veterans are committing suicide at twice the civilian rate and this news came out of Oklahoma and Arizona.
Full results for 2012 unknown because the Suicide Event Report for 2012 has not been released as of September 8, 2013. Feel like calling your congressman now?
How about after Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo Jr committed suicide on Veterans Day?
How about the report out of Connecticut when the body of a National Guardsman was found in New Milford of an apparent suicide in 2012?
Or when Army psychologist Capt. Linnerooth killed himself on January 2, 2013. "He was really, really suffering," Linnerooth's widow, Melanie Walsh, told Time for its story on his death. "And it didn't matter that he was a mental health professional, and it didn't matter that I was a mental health professional. I couldn't help him, and he couldn't help himself."
They just keep spending money on the same programs expecting a different result. When it comes to military mental health, the DOD needs to start with the people in charge because this is the definition of insanity. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein