Thursday, August 23, 2018

Facts vs slogan should matter, VA and CDC got it wrong

Ignoring the truth will make veterans go way!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 23, 2018

If veterans really matter, pay attention because their lives depend on facts, not slogans!


What the public does not know scares the crap out of me!

Yet again I tried to explain to someone why using "22" to "raise awareness" was not only wrong, it was harmful. Yet again, I tried to explain that there are things we do not know about the actual loss of life by choice among our veterans. Yet again, what I had to say was dismissed because "everyone is talking about the "22" a day. 

After I gave him the facts, he said they were going to stick with what the CDC said. The trouble is not from what they said or the VA said. It is within what they did not say!

I talked to my boss about this today and told her I give up! What is the point of trying to get people to wake up when they keep hitting the snooze alarm? Is it just so they can just go back to their fuzzy dreams of actually accomplishing something because it made them feel better about themselves? 

Well, I am tired of the excuses. Tired of hearing reporters pretending to listen and then do yet another report with another group out there popping up to "raise awareness" of something they did not even bother to understand.

So dear readers, I wanted to consider this the swan song on the subject. I cannot compete with what everyone else is talking about even though all they have is a useless slogan and we have the facts. (Yes, you are right, I had to replace the word I was going to use instead of useless.) I am so furious right now, I know that giving up is not really an option.

This is from the CDC on what they do and do not know about the number of suicides in this country.

"40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico" but not the other 10 states, including Texas and Florida, which represent the largest veterans populations behind California. 
The Demographics of California’s Veterans California’s Veterans Share Many Demographic Characteristics With Veterans Nationwide. Of the estimated 21 million veterans in the United States, about 1.8 million veterans live in California. 2017

"We still do not have a complete picture of violent deaths across the nation." If they do not have the data on civilians committing suicide, they do not have the data on veterans!

We do know the largest groups of veterans are in fact older than what the public has been led to believe. 
The suicide rate among middle-age and older adult vets remain high, with about 65 percent of all veterans who committed suicide in 2014 age 50 or older. About 31 percent of the suicides were committed by Vietnam War-era veterans.

But why mention that when all people hear is that it is the younger veterans needing the help while ignoring the majority of veterans waiting longer? Oh, BTW, you also need to consider that every report from the VA on suicides has put these veterans at the top of the list for known suicides! Yep!

We know that not all veterans go to the VA, and therefore, not all of them are in their data base.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,240 health care facilities, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,061 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA ...Mar 19, 2018

And we do know that not all of the "over 9 million veterans" were for their health and disability as of 2016. According to the VA there were only 6 million treated for healthcare from the VA. Hey, but why mention that in any of the reports that come out so members of Congress can sell out their care to private-for-profit businesses?

 Yes, you read that right and noticed that only 4.6 million were being paid pensions or compensation.

If we cannot face the truth, then we will keep looking at the graves that we allowed to be filled!

More of what we do know!
Not honorable discharges
VVA officials estimate as many as 300,000 veterans nationwide may have been improperly dismissed from the service, leaving them more vulnerable to depression and suicide because of a lack of veterans health services.
If a veteran did not receive an honorable discharge, they may not have been counted as "veteran" but it depends on a lot of things. This is from the VA and shows that is not "cut and dry" on anything.

We know that even though there are thousands of calls into the VA crisis line every year, and all other "efforts" to raise awareness, the numbers have not gone down accordingly.

We also know that given the fact the Department of Defense is under a mandate to report military suicides on a quarterly basis, with more up to date data, the numbers have remained consistently averaging 500 per year.

UPDATE 8/24/18
Now that you know all that, this is from the VA on the latest research.
"The analysis is part of VA’s ongoing examination of more than 55 million civilian and Veteran death records that is being used to evaluate and improve VA’s Suicide Prevention Program. Data from this report were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Death Index and then linked to both VA and Department of Defense (DoD) data."
For veterans living outside the US.
"This report builds upon prior analysis of Veteran suicide and provides additional and updated information on all known suicides among Veterans living in the United States from 2005 to 2015. In addition to expanding to include 2015 data, it includes updated 2014 data."
And as you saw from the CDC report, not all suicides in all states are fully accounted for. 

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