Friday, August 4, 2017

Be Aware, What You Don't Know Is Killing Them

What You Don't Know Is Killing Them
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 4, 2017

Problem Veteran Suicide Data

This is the report that started all the new charities screaming about raising awareness on "22" veterans committing suicide.
"To date, data from twenty-one (21) states have been cleaned and entered into a single integrated file containing information on more than 147,000 suicides and 27,062 reported Veterans. In addition to the issues identified above, barriers to full project implementation include inconsistent availability of requested information in all states, barriers to providing non-resident data and sending preference to provide de-identified data due to conflicting interpretations of Social Security laws. Negotiations with states are continuing as we begin requesting more recent years’ data as well as renewing or revising previously completed Data Use Agreements." That was from the VA Suicide Report released in 2012

That report was followed up in 2016 that was from all states and the CDC.
"As part of the Call to Action, VA has undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide in our nation’s history, examining more than 55 million Veteran records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states and four territories. This report describes the results of this effort. It builds on data from previous VA Suicide Data Reports, which were primarily limited to information on Veterans who used VHA health services or from mortality records obtained directly from a small number 20 of states and approximately 3 million records." 

The problem with both reports is, some states do not have military service as a category on their Death Certificates. States like California do not have military service on their certificates.

"...A proposal for new state legislation seeks to help confront the issue by requiring certificates of death to show if a deceased person was ever a member of the United States Armed Forces. In addition, it requires the state Department of Health to access death records and compile a report on veteran suicides beginning in 2019.

Richard Sawyer of Marysville, a service officer with Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the proposed legislation would be useful.

“They should have been keeping those records a long time ago,” said Sawyer. “If a vet commits suicide, it would be nice to back it up. Was he a veteran? Was he in combat? Could it possibly be related to that combat?”
Conclusion: If military service is not on the death certificate, then the CDC would not be able to include them in anything other that cause of death as "suicide" among the civilian population. 

Problem, Age Ignored
Both reports state the largest percentage of veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50. 

Key findings from this year’s report include:  In 2014, an average of 20 Veterans died by suicide each day. Six of the 20 were users of VHA services.  In 2014, Veterans accounted for 18 percent of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults and constituted 8.5 percent of the U.S. adult population (ages 18+). In 2010, Veterans accounted for 20.2 percent of all deaths by suicide and represented 9.7 percent of the U.S. adult population.  The burden of suicide resulting from firearm injuries remains high. In 2014, about 67 percent of all Veteran deaths by suicide were the result of firearm injuries.  There is continued evidence of a high burden of suicide among middle-aged and older Veterans. In 2014, about 65 percent of all Veterans who died by suicide were age 50 or older.  After adjusting for differences in age and gender, risk for suicide was 21 percent higher among Veterans when compared with U.S. civilian adults. (2014)  After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 18 percent higher among male Veterans when compared with U.S. civilian adult males. (2014)  After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 2.4 times higher among female Veterans when compared with U.S. civilian adult females. (2014)  In 2014, rates of suicide were highest among younger Veterans (ages 18–29) and lowest among older Veterans (ages 60+)."
Conclusion: If all the new charities really cared about this, they would have read both reports and would not have forgotten about the majority of veterans taking their own lives everyday...according to them!

Keep pretending to count them and show them they cannot count on you to care enough to read the reports!

This is from a video I did back in 2007 on the OEF and OIF generation. We can care about the newer veterans committing suicide and manage to care about the older generation, if you pay enough respect to them and report facts. We can actually change the outcome but only if we open our eyes to the fact that talking about something without knowing what you're talking about is deadly.

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