Remember this news?
On Monday, a Government Accountability Office report blasted department officials for failing to spend millions in outreach and public awareness funds related to veterans suicide prevention last fiscal year. Only about only $57,000 — less than 1 percent — was actually spent. read more here
And now we have this.
VA focused on suicide prevention
Department of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie
December 30, 2018
Holidays can be especially tough for troops deployed abroad, but they can also be challenging for veterans in need. And this holiday season, we have an important message for those who have worn the uniform: the Department of Veterans Affairs is here to help.
Suicide prevention is VA’s No. 1 clinical priority, but getting more veterans into care is one of our greatest challenges. An average of 20 veterans die by suicide each day. Of those 20, 14 have not received recent VA care.
That’s why we’re working closely with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to implement President Trump’s Jan. 9, 2018, executive order to ensure that all new veterans receive mental health care for at least one year following their separation from service.
read more here
VA’s available resources are extensive. To get the word out, VA spent $12.2 million on suicide prevention outreach in fiscal year 2018, including $1.5 million on paid media. We’ve also made great use of unpaid media through our partnership with Johnson and Johnson to produce a public service announcement featuring Tom Hanks — at no cost to VA. That partnership helped put VA in the top 10 of the Nielson ratings for PSAs. Its YouTube version drew tens of thousands of views.
And then there is this part
The Veterans Crisis Line helps about 2,000 callers every day. In the past 10 years, it has answered over 3.5 million calls, engaged in over 413,000 online chats, and responded to over 98,000 text messages. Most of the callers to the Veterans Crisis Line are veterans, but many are also concerned family members and friends calling on behalf of a veteran close to them. VA is there to help them, too. Our suicide prevention coordinators conducted over 22,000 outreach events last year, reaching 2.2 million people.I can attest to the fact that when a veteran goes to to the VA, he/she is more likely to heal and live a better quality of life. I have seen it all my life with my 100% disabled Dad and my 100% disabled husband. Plus they helped with a lot of veterans I sent to them over the last 3 decades, in different parts of the country.
But he did not explain why this has been the outcome of all of that.