UPDATE:Report finds local VA leaders 'lacked awareness' ahead of veteran's suicide
In a statement to CBS 12 News, the West Palm Beach VA said that “since the time of the review, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has taken action on all of the OIG’s recommendations.”
U.S. Army Sergeant Brieux Dash took his own life inside the West Palm Beach VA Hospital on March 14, 2019. After his death, Sgt. Dash’s family told CBS 12 News they believe he was suffering from PTSD. Sgt. Dash served two tours in Iraq.
An investigation into the hospital by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) began five days later, naming an undisclosed patient’s suicide as the purpose of the inquiry. The report was released August 22, 2019.
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Brieux Dash hanged himself March 14 at the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach.
The Palm Beach Post
By Eliot Kleinberg
Posted Mar 25, 2019
The local VA confirmed Dash’s suicide on Tuesday after The Post inquired. The agency said it was the first at the center in at least five years, and that two other attempts were thwarted in the same span. But, it said, “One life lost to suicide is one too many.”RIVIERA BEACH — Brieux Dash was in trouble.
The U.S. Army veteran had a military family by blood and another by marriage. He joined after high school and went twice into combat. And came home with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The Palm Springs man raised a family of three and was able to graduate college. But his demons were gaining on him.
After weeks in which he couldn’t sleep and acted erratically, and after he several times admitted to suicidal thoughts, his wife made the tough call to have him confined on March 11 for a mental health evaluation, under the state’s Baker Act.
At the place where she worked as a pharmacy technician: The VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach.
“She felt he would be safe, monitored and get help he needed there,” the family said on a money-raising page it posted this week. The posting said Dash had spoken to his family on Wednesday, March 13, and they believed he was improving and would be home by that Friday.
Instead, on March 14, the 33-year-old hanged himself, according to the VA and the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner.
He left behind his wife of 13 years and three children.
The Palm Beach Post, in most cases, does not name suicide victims. Dash’s family gave permission, and also was up front on its money-raising page about Brieux (pronounced “Bruce”) Dash and his life and his suicide.
As a mother, I knew he was not the same person that went over there the first time,” Shenita Nelson-Simmons said Thursday from her home in Rochester, New York, where Dash was born. She said he had been diagnosed with PTSD while in the service.
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