Wednesday, January 22, 2020

When do we demand reporters get suicide report right?

Clearing the road for facts on veteran suicide

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 22, 2020

Until we actually know the truth, we cannot begin to change what is happening. While it appears that FOX has attempted to claim certain things in the latest report, we need to take a good look at what is reported. After all, we should be doing it with all reports no matter what publication attempted to manipulate data...including the government itself.

That is from a FOX News report on veterans committing suicide. Veteran suicide rates remain alarmingly high despite years of reform from January 21, 2020 by Hollie McKay.
The report also underscored that for each year, from 2005 to 2017, veterans with recent Veterans Health Administration (VHA) use had higher suicide rates than other veterans. Of those VHA users, 58.7 percent had a diagnosed mental health or substance use disorder. Suicide rates were also highest among those diagnosed with opioid abuse disorder or bipolar.
Two different findings were put together. The truth is, veterans who go to the VA had an increased suicide rate of 1.3%, while for non-VA patients it was an increase of 11.8%...that they know of.

This is from the VA report,
Age- and Sex-Adjusted Suicide Rates for Veterans Who Used VHA Care
This section presents information on suicide deaths and rates among Veterans with recent use of VHA care and those without recent VHA use. Veterans who had recently used VHA care were defined as Veterans who had a VHA health encounter in the calendar year of interest or in the prior calendar year.

• For each year, from 2005 to 2017, Veterans with recent VHA use had higher suicide rates than other Veterans. However, over these years, suicide rates among Veterans with recent VHA use increased at a slower pace than for other Veterans.

• The age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans with recent VHA use increased by 1.3% between 2016 and 2017.

• The age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans who did not use VHA care increased by 11.8% between 2016 and 2017.
If you go to the release about the report, you will discover that the numbers within the report do not include 919 National Guard and Reservists who committed suicide.

Between 2016 and 2017, the suicide rate among never federally activated former National Guard members increased from 27.7 per 100,000 to 32.2 per 100,000.
• Between 2016 and 2017, the suicide rate among never federally activated former Reserve members decreased from 26.6 per 100,000 to 25.3 per 100,000.
• In 2017, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members, an average of 2.5 suicide deaths per day.
The report does not put in active duty service members suicides.
It is important to consider Veteran suicide in the context of suicide mortality among all U.S. adults. Also, in reporting on Veteran suicide, we focus on former service members who most closely meet the official definition of Veteran status that is used by VA and other federal agencies (see endnote regarding Title 38).3 For this report, a Veteran is defined as someone who had been activated for federal military service and was not currently serving at the time of death.
What is not included in any report are those who do not receive an honorable discharge, no matter the circumstances behind that discharge.

The Department of Defense publishes the suicide report for active duty and reserve components for the prior year, in other words, it is more up to date than the data from the VA. This is from the report released last year for 2018.

For anyone who believed that the number of military suicides were included with the VA report on "veteran suicides" as told by reporters, these are the facts from the VA.
One key change from this year’s report is that it does not group together Veterans eligible for VA services with servicemembers and former National Guard and Reserve members who were never federally activated. This change was necessary because these groups are unique and do not all qualify for the same benefits and services, therefore they require individualized outreach strategies.
It is important to read this part again. Too many think that sending veterans into civilian healthcare system is a good idea, however, as this report points out, the rate of civilians committing suicide has increased 43.6%.
From 2005 to 2017, suicides among all U.S. adults increased by 43.6 percent, while suicides among Veterans increased by 6.1 percent.
America’s non-Veteran population is increasing while its Veteran population is decreasing over time.
The number of Veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to 2017.
In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population differences in age and sex.
Firearms were the method of suicide in 70.7 percent of male Veteran suicide deaths and 43.2 percent of female Veteran suicide deaths in 2017.
In addition to the aforementioned Veteran suicides, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members in 2017, an average of 2.5 suicide deaths per day.

In this part the VA contradicted itself.

Veteran Suicide Rates by Age Group
• Veterans ages 18–34 had the highest suicide rate in 2017 (44.5 per 100,000).
• The suicide rate for Veterans ages 18–34 increased by 76% from 2005 to 2017.
• Veterans ages 55–74 had the lowest suicide rate per 100,000 in 2017.
• The absolute number of suicides was highest among Veterans 55–74 years old. This group accounted for 38% of all Veteran deaths by suicide in 2017.

And this is about female veterans.


Maybe if they paid attention in 2013...things would have been different by now. THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR by Kathie Costos
Military and veteran suicides are higher even though billions are spent every year trying to prevent them. After years of research most can be connected to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD has been researched for 40 years yet most of what was known has been forgotten. Families are left blaming themselves for what they were never told. Reporters have failed to research. Congress failed at holding people accountable. The military failed at giving them the help they need. We failed to pay attention.

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