Showing posts with label suicide prevention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suicide prevention. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Will VA Suicide Prevention Continue to Fail to Prevent Them?

The VA’s suicide prevention strategy will fail


Military Times
By: Sean Gilfillan
September 17, 2019
Instead of relying on others, the VA’s strategy should be to replicate the peer, community and institutional support veterans had while they were in the military.
Hawaii-based service members from every branch of service, Department of Defense personnel, and military and DoD families form a human chain in the shape of a yellow suicide awareness ribbon on Sept. 5, 2018, in support of National Suicide Awareness Month at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corwin Colbert/Navy)
The suicide rate for young adults was 17 per 100,000 population in 2017, while the suicide rate for veterans 18-39 is over 50 per 100,000.

The VA strategy says, “Suicide prevention is VA’s highest priority.” If that were true, the VA would not outsource the solution to local, community-based organizations. In the VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide, there are four critical protective factors that help offset risk factors.

Two clinical solutions: 
1) Positive coping skills, and 
2) Access to mental health care; and two non-clinical solutions: 
3) Feeling connected to other people, and 
4) Having reasons for living or a sense of purpose in life. 

The VA’s strategy has a “lead from behind” approach for the latter two. We give the VA $220.2 billion per year to take care of our 20 million veterans. Yet, the VA wants to outsource outreach to veteran service organizations (VSOs), nonprofits, local businesses and governments to address the two non-clinical factors. While VSOs advocate on behalf of all veterans, they are not in touch with all veterans.

Given member overlap and passive membership, basic math dictates that the combined marketing reach of the entire VSO community is estimated to be 5-10 percent of the total.

Even so, this business-to-business (B2B) (organization to organization) approach is not the right strategy for an organization with individual customers.
read it here

Monday, September 2, 2019

Chairman Takano Congress is doing too much of the wrong things on suicide prevention

Congress is not doing enough to prevent suicides tied to military

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 2, 2019

Chairman Takano,
Your video is far from what is necessary to prevent suicides among citizens who served in the military and are currently serving. The rates prove that. They have gone up since the "suicide awareness" efforts began over a decade ago.

How much time do you think Congress should get before before the families show up in Washington or at your offices in your districts?

Suicide Prevention actually means they are being prevented...not simply passing bills that pretend to be any different from the ones that have already been written and funded by all other sessions of Congress before your Chairmanship.


What is not clear is why there has been so little effort in finding out what all of you have gotten wrong before it is all repeated.

What is not clear is why no one has been held accountable for any of it. Not the military when their suicide rates are at an all time high. Not the VA when more veterans are doing their own suicide awareness by committing suicide on VA property. No one, including members of Congress have ever apologized to the families left behind by for this complete total catastrophe.

There are people at the VA who do know what works and why it works, but Congress will not listen to them. There are people in the military who do know what works and why it works, but again, no one listens to them.

Why? Because what works does not cost as much as the drugs being given. It does not cost as much as paying for private mental healthcare providers who do not even begin to understand military culture. Oh, not that their track record was any better in the civilian community they used to serve, since according to the CDC civilian suicides have gone up every year too.

Stop doing too much of the wrong things and calling it suicide prevention, since results prove you wrong. Given the fact that we have had enough evidence of the rise, we also know about the calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline going up, more calls to 911 and veterans facing off with police officers. It is futile to continue with all that is being redone now, to have results like these.

So please, stop what you are doing long enough to actually listen to different voices. Listen to those who have been out there doing the work that does actually prevent suicides, prevents families from falling apart, prevents veterans from becoming homeless and above all, from losing hope.
Veterans already know how to die. They need to be made aware of reasons to live!

CHAIRMAN TAKANO: VA SHOULD MARK NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH WITH A NATION-WIDE STAND-DOWN WASHINGTON, DC –

Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following Video Statement to mark the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness month and reiterate his Call For A VA Wide Stand-Down to address the crisis of veteran suicide.
VA stand down
Full text of the Video Statement below:

I am Congressman Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Today marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month-- and with 20 veterans, servicemembers, reservists, and members of the National Guard dying by suicide a day, it’s clear we have a national public health crisis on our hands.

In April, following 3 suicides on VA property in 5 days, I directed this Committee to work in a bipartisan manner to address the national crisis of veteran suicide and made it this Committee’s top priority.

We acted immediately and since then have held hearings, and passed 5 bills to address this crisis.

And yet, with each suicide, it becomes more clear our country is not doing enough. We need new solutions. That’s why I’ve called on VA to institute an immediate nation-wide stand-down to address this crisis.

Over the next 15 days, I’m asking VA to:

(1) Ensure all VA staff are fully trained
(2) Assess facility infrastructure
And
(3) Identify gaps in policies, procedures, and resources
We cannot keep delaying action. Americans must know that key policies are already in place, that VA will enforce them, and trust that senior VA leadership will be held accountable.

Until VA has a top suicide prevention official in place to implement these programs, veterans can’t have confidence in VA’s ability to care for them in a crisis. While Americans should take this month to have real conversations about suicide across this country, I’m asking VA to do more than talk. I’m asking them to back up their policies with clear, concise actions.

If you or a veteran you know is in crisis, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1(800) 273-8255 and press 1, or text 838-255.

We must do more to “be there” for our veterans in crisis.
###
Press Contact
Jenni Geurink (202-225-9756)

Miguel R. Salazar

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Now that VA suicide prevention office getting new leader...will they figure out wrong awareness being raised?

VA’s top suicide prevention official departing in July


Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
June 26, 2019
At least 24 suicides have occurred on VA campuses in the last 20 months, several in public areas. But department officials insist that the suicide rate at those clinics and hospitals has actually decreased in recent years, even as visibility of the problems has risen.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. (Zachary Hada/Air Force)

Veterans Affairs’ top suicide prevention official will leave that post next month as the congressional focus on the department’s efforts continues to increase.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. Officials said the move was not related to any issues with her office’s performance but instead based on other career opportunities outside of VA.

Dr. Matt Miller, the current director of the Veterans Crisis Line, will fill the post in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement is selected.

In a statement, department leaders praised Franklin for her work in the last few years, giving her credit for “key successes” in improving mental health care for veterans. Prior to joining VA, she served as the Defense Department’s top suicide prevention official.
Last fall, lawmakers blasted the department after the Government Accountability Office found that more than $6 million in suicide prevention and mental health support outreach funds went unspent by the department in fiscal 2018. Officials blamed that mistake on leadership changes at the department in prior months, including the firing of former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
read more here

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sending text saved ex-Marine

Young ex-Marine gets within hours of planned suicide, social media helps save him

KATU News 
by Genevieve Reaume 
March 28th 2019

For Austin, the year following his planned attempt would be filled with both hardships and happiness. He says he was diagnosed with PTSD because of the trauma, as well as depression and anxiety. He ended up getting a tattoo of that near-fateful date on his forearm.
KELSO, Wash. — A young ex-Marine came within hours of taking his own life, but a last-minute plea on social media helped save him. 

Austin Kaster is 23 years old. It’s been just over a year since his suicide plan shattered and his life truly changed.
"I'm not going to forget it, but if by the weird chance that I do, I can just look down at my arm and be like, ‘OK, this is what I accomplished. This is what I overcame,’” Austin said, describing the tattoo, which also includes the barcode from the hospital band he got that night. “You’re taught, ‘Hey, just suck it up. Keep going.’ You know, head down, just push on through. But it got to a point where it was like, OK, it’s either this or I’m going to wind up taking my own life,” Austin said, describing the tough moments while serving at Camp Pendleton that led him to reach out for help. read more here

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Widow of Columbus Fire Department wants to start a conversation to save lives

Widow of Columbus firefighter remembers husband, talks need for mental health awareness


WBNS 10 News
Bryant Somerville
March 20, 2019

Eight years of dating and a five-month engagement led Katie-Jean and Shane Brintlinger to the middle of the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.
Shane picked the song "More of You" by Chris Stapleton.

The day is frozen in time in pictures. They are moments Katie-Jean remembers every detail of.

They met at Otterbein University. Katie-Jean says, originally, Shane wanted to be a high school history teacher, but later changed his mind and opted for fire school. She says it was his passion.

"He would always tell me 'I thrive in those environments,'" she said. "He would say 'When I go in and people are freaking out, that's when I do my best. I can slow my mind down and think through what I need to do.'"
He worked in London, then Delaware. Then, the last five years, Brintlinger worked at the Columbus Fire Department.

"He truly loved it because he could just go after it," she said. "He loved that high speed, everything about it."

December 29, 2017, they were married. A year and two months later, Katie-Jean was at the grocery store.

"I called him to see if the asparagus was still good in our fridge," she said. "Well, he didn't answer."
A picture shows Katie-Jean on the back of a fire engine, talking to her husband one last time at the cemetery.
read more here

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Audit finds links to preventing suicides missing in Marine Corps

A Navy audit says the Marine Corps could do better at suicide prevention


Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow
March 14, 2019

The Marine Corps wasn't adequately providing links on its websites to the Veterans Crisis Line, a Navy audit found. (Sgt. Priscilla Sneden/Marine Corps)
A Navy audit concluded in 2018 found that the Corps was not complying with guidance and instructions required by the secretary of the Navy that aids in suicide prevention. Specifically, the Marine Corps was not adequately providing links on its webpages to the Veterans Crisis Line.

The audit, obtained by Marine Corps Times via a Freedom of Information Act request, found that none of the 43 reviewed Marine Corps command websites included a link to the crisis line.

A previous 2012 audit found that 54 percent of the Marine websites it searched did not have a suicide crisis link or phone number, and recommendations from that report were still in an “open status” as of March 2018. The 2018 audit was published in June 2018.

Suicide prevention is a serious issue in the Corps as the force faces suicide levels at a 10-year high.


In 2018, 75 Marines ended their lives, the majority of those Marines were under the age of 25 and had no overseas deployment experience.

“When suicide crisis links and phone numbers are not prominently advertised on Marine Corps Web sites, there is a missed opportunity to facilitate and encourage Marines to seek assistance in a critical time of need,” the audit reads.
read more here

*******
I was at an event last year, when a veteran Marine said that their suicide numbers were down. Knowing they were not, I asked where he heard that. He said from the DOD report. Since I track the reports available to the public, I knew he was wrong. I still find it very interesting that too many people will hear a rumor on social media, believe it is true, claim it was from the Department of Defense...and discover they do not even check that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

GAO found VA under spent on suicide prevention

VA leaves nearly $5 million unused in 2018 campaign to battle suicide, watchdog finds
STARS AND STRIPES
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: December 17, 2018 

Starting in June 2012, the VA consistently aired suicide preventions PSAs every month, either on the television or radio. When GAO investigators looked into the issue in August 2018, the VA hadn’t aired a PSA in over a year.

WASHINGTON — A federal investigation found the money and effort expended by the Department of Veterans Affairs on suicide prevention outreach dropped significantly in 2017 and 2018, despite it being touted by the past two VA secretaries as their top clinical priority.
The Government Accountability Office reported Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, that the Department of Veterans Affairs spent only $1.5 million on suicide prevention programs. The department was alloted $6.2 million for such programs. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Following a yearlong investigation, the Government Accountability Office reported Monday that the VA has cut back since 2016 on suicide prevention outreach. Of the $6.2 million budget obligated for suicide prevention outreach in fiscal year 2018, the agency had spent only $57,000, or less than 1 percent, by September. Agency officials told investigators they would end up spending a total $1.5 million by Oct. 1, the end of the fiscal year. The remainder, $4.7 million, went unused.

In 2017, the VA had a budget of $1.7 million for suicide prevention and other mental health outreach. The VA spent about $136,000, or less than 10 percent, on suicide prevention. Also in 2017, the VA had a “limited effort” for suicide prevention month in September because they didn't prepare, the GAO found.
read more here 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lawyers take on suicide prevention through veterans experiences

Lawyer uses military experience to destigmatize suicide and encourage camaraderie


Daily Campus
ALEXA VICKARYOUS
OCTOBER 30, 2018

A Dallas lawyer explored suicide prevention through the lens of a veteran and its importance in the law field in his lecture “Battling Suicides and Depression: How Lawyers Can Help Each Other.”
Twenty-nine students attended the lecture and heard how Brian Farlow’s 27 years of active and reserve military service was connected to his mental health as a lawyer.

“We are the most educated profession, with the possible exception of doctors, and yet we are struggling to maintain a decent mental health,” Farlow said. “We are struggling with suicides.”

According to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lawyer occupation had the 11th highest suicide rate with 19 suicides per 100,000 professionals.

President of the Student Bar Association Brooke Adams, the SBA Mental Health Awareness Committee and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Stephen Yeager planned this event as part of Dedman Law Wellness Week which coincided with National Law Student Mental Health Day.

“As a law student, it is hard, and Brian Farlow talked about the pressure you are in,” Adams said. “Here you learn it is okay to take a knee. It is okay to not be the best.”

Farlow played a video called “Shoulder to Shoulder,” which told the story of a soldier who attempted suicide. A fellow soldier prevented the suicide when he noticed that after a divorce his friend was not playing his guitar very much or talking to many people. This soldier saved his friend’s life by noticing the red flags and by removing the firing pin from his gun.
read more here

Monday, October 22, 2018

Wisconsin has a Hope Line to prevent suicides

'There's nobody to lie to': Vet shares success story of texting suicide prevention hotline

Channel 3000 WISC TV
By: Jamie Perez
Posted: Oct 18, 2018

KAUKANA, Wis. - The Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukana is celebrating four years of saving lives. On Oct. 10,the center celebrated its anniversary. While the center itself is helping decrease the number of suicides across the state of Wisconsin, one method is providing a unique way for that to happen.
"You text the word Hopeline to 741741 and then send," said Barb Bigalke, founder of the center. "It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't take away from your minute plan, so it really is a free service."
Crum is a Marine Corps veteran who struggled with negative thoughts after his service. Crum said he had a tough time with relationships, jobs and other mental and emotional factors in his life. He said he needed a complete stranger to talk to in order to finally be honest with himself. He texted the Hopeline.

"You don't have to lie to anybody," Crum said. "I think sometimes we tend to lie to ourselves. There's nobody to lie to. There's nobody to give a false sense of everything is OK. So in that moment I was like, 'OK I need to be truthful with myself.' Through texting, all of that stigma and and those barriers are kind of taken away."

Crum said you don't have to be actively suicidal to use the Hopeline. He said you could just be having a bad day, in a state of depression or a myriad of other reasons. He said the Hopeline is for anyone to use to actively prevent anything bad from happening in the future.

"Whether you're 10 years old or 60 years old or a veteran or LGBTQ, we've got a myriad of different ages, races, populations to text it and say, 'I need help.'"

Crum said it helped him get through one of the most difficult times of his life. It worked so well for him, he found his own purpose out of it. Crum now works at the Center for Suicide Awareness helping save others' lives.
read more here

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why are we seeing higher number of suicides and lower numbers in the veteran population?

According to the news reports, the number of veterans committing suicide has gone down...so why are we seeing this in the report itself? The following came from National Suicide Data Report Appendix.
Why are we seeing higher number of suicides and lower numbers in the veteran population?

Why are we seeing higher rates than we did in 2005, and year afterwards? It is millions less veterans and hundreds more suicides.

This requires action from all of us!


Find out what you can do to save their lives and actually prevent suicides because frankly, we had better results before everyone was reminding them that far too many took their own lives instead of helping them to #TakeBackYourLife and heal. Look at the years, and all the numbers to better understand that when the say "down slightly" it depends on what else went down with it.

Go to this publication from the VA and find out how to help them help veterans. The VA is not the enemy and we need to stop treating it like it was. If they are failing at something, help them fix it. If they are succeeding at something, help them expand it!

Remember, veterans are not civilians and the VA being there for them was part of the deal...so why didn't we commit to them too?

Reaching all Veterans to prevent suicide will take the entire community.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is on a mission to end suicide among Veterans in communities across America. Approximately 14 of the 20 Veterans who die by suicide each day are not receiving care from the Veterans Health Administration. We need your help to reach them. We invite you to share your insights, experiences, and resources to shape public health initiatives that support Veterans at risk. One Veteran suicide is one too many. It’s time to act — Are you with us? VA works with hundreds of organizations and corporations at the national and local levels, including Veterans Service Organizations, to raise awareness about its suicide prevention programs. These partners have regular contact with Veterans as well as active duty Servicemembers, Reservists, National Guard members, and their families. By reaching out to help, communities can send the message that they value these individuals and their service.

Organized events are a great way for our partners to advance this critical national goal of ending Veteran suicide. By promoting Veteran-focused resources in your community at events such as job fairs and wellness expos, you can help us reach all Veterans. Connecting with fellow Veterans to spread the word about valuable mental health and suicide prevention resources makes Veteran wellness a community priority.

Veterans, family members, and care providers can initiate a free and confidential conversation with an experienced and caring VA responder by calling the Veterans Crisis Line. 
If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a Veteran, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. 
Chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat to get support anonymously. 
A text message can also be sent to 838255 to connect to a VA responder. 
These resources can be used even if a Veteran is not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

Veteran suicide is preventable, and suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Thank you for helping to prevent and end Veteran suicide. Visit www.va.gov/nace/myVA/ for more information.
Recent news reports
Oregon
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate for veterans in Oregon in 2015, the most recent year data is available, was 37.2 percent, which was more than double the national average among non-veterans.

That year alone, 118 Oregon veterans committed suicide.

“It really kind of haunts you,” Julie Terry said, whose brother, Will Naugle, committed suicide in 2017. “There’s a lot of ‘what could I have done?’ or ‘Is there something that could have changed it?’”
Tennessee
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – (CLARKSVILLENOW) – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a data sheet from 2016 that details the suicide rate of veterans in Tennessee, compared to the veteran suicide rates in the southern region and the nation; as well as the general suicide rates in Tennessee, the southern region, and the nation.
18-34: 26
35-54: 38
55-74: 66
75+: 26

East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

UPDATE
A ride for life
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
September 30, 2018

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 34th anniversary. No matter how hard some years were, we had love and fed each other hope. He is the reason I have done this work for the last 36 years. I have seen the darkness but have also seen what brighter days bring.

Yesterday I went out to East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

All of our lives have been changed in someway by the lose of hope, but none of us are ready to give up this fight for life.

While our lives may be different, the purpose of our lives has become one of restoring hope.
Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Suicide is a painful thing for the families left behind. They never find the answers they are looking for. It is always with them, when the person they loved gave up on themselves. Beyond that, they gave up on the people who loved them as well.

The never ending questions of "why didn't they come to me" or "talk to me" or "let me know how much they were hurting" or "why didn't they trust me to listen to them?"

I know those feelings all too well, because it happened in my family. My husband's nephew was also a Vietnam veteran and he committed suicide 18 years ago. I have all those questions still in my head that will never be answered.
read more here

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Worse stunt ever on veteran suicides!

There are so many things wrong with this, it is hard to know where to begin other than this picture!
Yes, this is the stunt they pulled because veterans committing suicide is such an important thing to them...they did not even bother to read the report from the VA in the first place, or the second report, or the third one! 

This is a quote from the "event coordinators"
"They don't have the right outlet to come back. They need to go to their local VFW and talk to these people that were in World War 2 and tell them what they saw, because those guys want to know the generation gap and what they saw in World War 2 and what they are seeing now in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Kinzer-Henry.
So lets not talk about how that generation, along with ever other generation of veterans OVER THE AGE OF 50 ARE IN FACT THE MAJORITY OF THE KNOWN SUICIDES! 

Why talk about the fact that had it not been for Vietnam veterans, there would have been nothing available for any of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans they claim to be doing this for...? (and yes, insert the words you know I have in my head right now)

OMG! But hey, this is doing the groups like this a lot of good getting attention and raising a lot of money.

Did it ever dawn on any of these people that veterans already know they are dying by their own hands but do not know how to stay alive?



"22 Won't Do" event raising awareness for suicide among veterans
Rocket City Now
By: Kelly Kennedy
Posted: Sep 22, 2018

September is suicide prevention month, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center hosted an event today to raise awareness for veteran suicide.

"22 Won't Do" is an event that is shedding light on the issue of suicide among veterans.

Lyn Rothe, an event participant, said, "there are people that go through something that maybe we don't understand, but we need to be aware that there are people that need additional help and additional support."

Studies show that on average, 22 veterans a day commit suicide. The community came out today to do 22 push ups in support of veterans.

Jordon Fleming said he wanted to raise awareness "for my young marines, for my country, for my flag, so I didn't wanna just stop and bail out with everybody else."
read more here

Sunday, September 9, 2018

“It’s okay to not be okay…”

I'm Listening
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Phelps’ Full #ImListening Interview
“It’s okay to not be okay…”
LAUREN HOFFMAN
SEPTEMBER 9, 2018

The world’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, opens up about his vulnerability, swimming as an escape, and how therapy changed his life - in this exclusive interview:
“While I had a lot of success in the swimming pool, I also struggled with anxiety and depression so I understand how difficult it can be for people to address mental health challenges,” says Phelps. “In sharing my own journey, I would like to help people understand that it’s okay to not be okay, and that asking for help isn’t a sign a weakness but rather a sign of strength and courage.”

Phelps recently announced a partnership with Talkspace, which helps connect anyone with therapists through a computer, tablet or smartphone. “I was scared to go in somewhere and be judged,” says Michael. Talkspace helps break the barriers – especially for those who are reluctant to seek-out help in person, or may not have the financial means. “Every day is not going to be perfect,” he explains, “but it gives me tools to help work through things.”

“Saving a life is much more important to me than winning a gold medal,” Michael concludes. “You are not alone.”

For more positive strokes, check out the Michael Phelps Foundation: https://michaelphelpsfoundation.org.
read more here

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Break the sound of silence before it is too late

Reach Out in the Darkness and Keep a Friend
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 1, 2018
Preventing suicide begins when you reach out to those who have lost hope. Not by reducing them down to a number because you think it is easy to remember. They do not need to be made more aware of others who lost their battle.


When people tell me they are spreading "awareness" with a number, that is simply not correct, it is repulsive! This lazy attitude has replaced their commitment to the cause they claim be devoted to. It is not that they do not care. They did not care enough to become aware of facts first.
No one fights alone and the battle for their lives requires us to be aware of truth, not what is sold as a true effort to change lives before they are lost.

Men and women, dedicated to saving lives of others, should never be more fearful of asking for help. They already know how to die, but they do not know how to heal.

If we really honor and remember their sacrifice for the sake of others, then we need to make sure to do the work to help them heal and save their lives for a change. PTSD is something that can be defeated but it requires knowledge first and action afterwards. Not the other way around.



"Reach Out In The Darkness" and you may keep a friend!



Tried to boost this on Facebook but they disapproved of it.

Gee you see the post and it is not political. When will Facebook get this censorship right?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Understanding conversation on suicides

Key to preventing suicide is an understanding conversation, experts say
KSNB News
Alexa Reye
Jun 8, 2018
Forty-nine states have seen an increase in the number of suicides from 1999 through 2016, according to a government report. Nebraska seeing an over 16 percent increase.




Editor's note: If you're feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

OMAHA, Nebraska — The numbers are staggering: A new study from the Centers for Disease Control, shows the number of people taking their own life, is up 16 percent in Nebraska, 36 percent in Iowa and even higher in other states.

The data come during a week where two high-profile suicides are making headlines. But experts say you can help turn the tide — if you know what to look for.

Experts say the key to preventing suicide all starts with a conversation. One that expresses support and can happen anytime, anywhere. Because listening is the key to prevention.
read more here
*******
Some will admit they are thinking about it but is the listener prepared for the answer? 

With all the awareness on suicide, isn't it about time all of us became aware that it has not help?

That conversation itself needs to change. Some will never say they are thinking of anything at all. When I wanted to die, no one knew. If anyone asked, I would have denied it. When my husband's nephew decided to die, no one knew how bad it was for him. He would have gotten angry and did it anyway. I needed something worth living for and so does everyone else.

With veterans, we have so many things in place to help them save their own lives, but they have not heard about them simply because social media, being what it is, shares the easy stuff and not what they need to know.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

When do reporters care about our troops committing suicide?

Is anyone paying attention to military suicides?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 15, 2018

When do reporters care about our troops committing suicide? Talk to families in the military and they tell you there is a huge problem with suicides. If the numbers the DOD reports are any indication, they are right. The question is, why hasn't the press picked up on any of this?

Are they that unobservant?


Suicide Prevention Office 
History
The Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) was established in 2011 and is part of the Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. The Secretary of Defense designated a Defense Health Board Task Force to examine efforts to prevent military suicide. The creation of DSPO was the result of the Task Force recommendations.
Approach
DoD integrates a holistic approach to suicide prevention, intervention, and Postvention using a range of medical and non-medical resources. Grounded in a collaborative approach, DSPO works with the Military Services and other Governmental Agencies, Non-Governmental Agencies, non-profit organizations, and the community to reduce the risk for suicide.

They let the Generals get away with saying most of the ones committing suicide, were never deployed. The trouble with that is, every member of the military was trained in "prevention" but this did not work for even those not deployed. Why did they continue it if this is the outcome?



2012
Active 321
Reserve 72
National Guard 132
525

2013
Active 256
Reserve 86
National Guard 134
476

2014
Active 276
Reserve 79
National Guard 91
446

2015
Active 266
Reserve 89
National Guard 125
480

2016
Active 280
Reserve 80
National Guard 122
482

2017 3 Quarters
Active 198
Reserve 76
National Guard 107
381

And yet Congress does not seem to care about any of this. Reporters do not even ask why this is the outcome of what they funded.
How much did this cost and who made money on it?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life

And what exactly happened to all the other programs that we were told would work but didn't?
Navy launches new suicide prevention program for all sailors
SAIL now available at all Fleet and Family Support Center locations
News 4 Jax
By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
February 06, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Navy announced Monday that a pilot program to prevent suicide is now available to all sailors.
SAIL, which stands for Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life, is designed to provide rapid assistance, on-going risk assessment and support for sailors who have exhibited suicide-related behavior. It is aimed at supplementing existing mental health treatment by providing continual support through the first 90 days after suicide-related behavior.

"We are excited that we are able to bring this important program to the fleet ahead of schedule," said Capt. Michael Fisher, Director, Navy Suicide Prevention Branch. "Having SAIL available across the Navy is a great addition to the ongoing work that commands are doing to promote help-seeking behavior, self-care, and support for our Sailors who reach out for assistance. Instilling hope is the hallmark of SAIL and we believe those Sailors who take advantage of this terrific program will see its benefit."
read more here

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another Suicide Prevention Bill, Just More of the Same

This may sound good to you,
SPEAKER RYAN SIGNS BILL TO HELP VETERANS IN CRISIS
The Scoop
Speaker Ryan Press Office
November 18, 2016
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan signed H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act—legislation introduced by Rep. David Young (R-IA) to assure veterans’ needs are prioritized. Prior to signing the bill, Speaker Ryan discussed its significance during his weekly press briefing:

“This week, Congress gave final approval to legislation that will help veterans in need. H.R. 5392 requires the VA [to] respond to calls to its crisis hotlines in a timely manner.

“This is one of those bills that should not even be necessary, but sadly—and tragically—it is. read more here


In June of this year, a veteran called the Crisis Hotline and WTVM News reported,

"I called back the next day which was past the 24 hours they said they would call back,” said Burks. “And,I waited another 24 hours and they did call.” 

Burks worries the long wait time could be devastating for someone suffering from P.T.S.D. 


But a Bill to prevent suicides sounded good before. Actually, scratch that. Make it many, many times before.

May 2, 2015 Military Times reported this.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., recently sent a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald asking for data on the Crisis Line's call volume, hold times, and average wait times between when a call is made and the caller can see a VA therapist or counselor, or a community provider, in person.

Nelson's request was made in response to a news report by Tampa television station WFTS that Air Force veteran Ted Koran was placed on hold repeatedly for up to 10 minutes at a time as he fought off suicidal thoughts.

According to the report, Koran's wife died of cancer last year and he was despondent the day he made the call.

But when he dialed, he was placed on hold numerous times. After he reached a counselor, he said he did not feel comforted, according to the report.

"They had me on the [verge] of saying to hell with it," he said, according to WFTS.
Makes sense that Florida Senator would be paying attention considering it turns out that in 2014 the number of veterans in Florida committing suicide was called a "staggering" number when between 1999 and 2011 there were 31,885 reported suicides.

April 13, 2015 ABC News reported this
Ted Koran was thinking about committing suicide Saturday night.

He reached out to the VA and the Veterans Suicide Hotline for help, but said he couldn't get any until after he was repeatedly put on hold for up to 10 minutes at time.

Veterans in Crisis: Vets put on hold for 36 minutes His case is just the latest the I-Team has been exposing for months now.

When the Veterans Crisis Hotline was first set up by the VA in 2007, it averaged 60 calls a day on four manned phone lines.

Now, 52 operators at a time field about a thousand calls a day, and that's not always even enough to keep some veterans on the verge of suicide from being placed on hold.

February 23, 2015 KJRH News reported this.
Hughes decided that night to turn to the national Veterans Crisis Line, a 24-hour, seven-day-a week service that promises an immediate, open line to professional help. But when Hughes phoned, she said, her call went straight to hold. After several minutes, she became frustrated and hung up. “I would never call the hotline again,” said Hughes. She said she needed to quickly get to someone that night who could give her help and reassurance.
Does it sound bad now? Wait because this was reported on Army Times July 14, 2010. The link no longer works but it is still alive on Wounded Times
Even as Veterans Affairs Department officials offered testimony that 10,000 people have been saved by VA’s suicide hotline, veterans themselves said help should come long before a person needs to make that call. “The suicide hotline is too much of a last alternative,” said Melvin Cintron, an Army veteran who served as a flight medic in Desert Storm and in aviation maintenance in the current war in Iraq. “Either you don’t have enough of a problem and you can wait for weeks for an appointment, or you have to be suicidal.”

Cintron spoke Wednesday before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s oversight and investigations panel.

A lot of things may sound good, but you have to look back to see if what sounded good produced good results. The fact is, there have been some veterans rescued by the Crisis Hotline. It is also a fact that it began back in 2007 with The Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act. It is also a fact that considering we have over 5 million less veterans than we did in 1999, the VA has reported the same, stunning number, of veterans committing suicide at 20 per day.