Sunday, July 27, 2014

The video everyone needs to watch on military suicides

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 27, 2014

If you want to know why your veteran committed suicide, this is the biggest part of the answer. It wasn't your fault. Everything you faced since this hearing back in 2010 was the responsibility of the DOD and the VA. Nothing that happened afterwards was excusable but no one was ever held accountable for what the DOD and Congress failed to do in the first place.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, General Peter Chiarelli talked about how PTSD and TBI were being co-diagnosed and how there were many misdiagnosis. It was almost as if he was more angry about the reporting by NPR than the outcome.
Military Still Failing To Diagnose, Treat Brain Injuries In 2007, under enormous public pressure, military leaders pledged to fix problems in diagnosing and treating brain injuries. Yet despite the hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the effort since then, critical parts of this promise remain unfulfilled.

Over four months, we examined government records, previously undisclosed studies and private correspondence between senior medical officials. We conducted interviews with scores of soldiers, experts and military leaders.

That was all coming out in 2010.

Speeches. Endless speeches year after year on what the military has been doing to reduce suicides have resulted in headlines like this.
Navy sees suicide uptick despite prevention efforts
The Virginian-Pilot
By Corinne Reilly
July 25, 2014

After a drop in 2013, suicides among Navy sailors have increased sharply so far this year.

The Pentagon this week released updated suicide numbers for all of the service branches for 2013. Overall, they show a decline in suicides among active-duty service members compared with 2012. Suicides decreased among Navy sailors, too, from 57 in 2012 to 43 last year.

But so far this year, the Navy has seen a marked increase - 38 confirmed or suspected suicides as of this week, according to the service. That's up roughly 50 percent compared with the same period last year.
read more here

Suicide's toll: Survey says half of vets know someone who has tried it, July 24, 2014 Stars and Stripes. The number of enlisted has decreased but the number of suicides went up. The DOD heads refuse to accept responsibility for this outcome. All of their "efforts" pushing "resiliency" have killed more Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors then two wars combined. Their efforts have destroyed families. They simply make speeches on what they learned.

This is a video everyone needs to watch. You need to hear their words. You need to hear what they claimed 4 years ago before the numbers went to a historical high in 2012. You need to see the empty chairs where members of the Armed Services Committee should have been sitting. You need to hear the questions asked by the Senators who bothered to show up. Then you need to ask yourself is any of this is acceptable to you.
Senate Armed Services Committee
JUNE 22, 2010
Military Suicides
Military branch vice chiefs and a Veterans Administration official spoke about efforts to prevent military suicides. They also talked about efforts to diagnose and treat brain injuries.

In 2010 the DOD knew they had a shortage of mental health doctors and nurses.

Suicides Alarming: The numbers read by Senator Levin

2007 115 Soldiers, 2008 140, 2009 162.

Army, General Peter Chiarelli, Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenhert, Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, and Air Force Gen. Carrol H. "Howie" Chandler talked about building "resiliency" and how there was a great need to get the members of the military to seek help. All of these leaders claimed to be doing "all we can" but that was when the numbers were far lower. Dr. Robert Jesse of the Department of Veterans Affairs also made claims of what the VA was doing.

They claimed the research was new avoiding the fact that other Generals had given similar speeches decades ago. They claimed to be doing so much but none of them have ever accepted responsibility for the failure to live up to what they claimed. None of them have admitted what they had been doing failed so many the number of suicides and attempted suicides went up. The number of veterans committing suicide went up.

The backstory on all of this is the simple fact that "bad paper discharges" also went up. Those discharged were no longer the responsibility of the military to account for. They were not part of the VA accounting since most were not eligible for benefits or treatment.

The GAO Report Mental Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Screening Efforts Implemented, but Consistent Pre-Deployment Medical Record Review Policies Needed" but the Generals admitted that while they were doing pre-deployment screenings, they were not doing post-deployment screenings. The excuse was they did not have enough time or mental health workers. They also stated they were getting too many "false-positive" results.
Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics Pre Deployment, Deployment and Post Deployment Screenings. The Defense Department requires all service members to undergo a pre-deployment baseline neurocognitive assessment within 12 months of deployment. Establishing a neurocognitive baseline on all service members facilitates the ability to measure potential cognitive changes in individuals who are exposed to a concussive event. Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) is one such measure that can be used to assess cognitive changes post-concussion and is the neurocognitive assessment tool the Defense Department is currently employing for use by all services.

General Amos said that only about 2% needed mental health help.

Halfway into the meeting, John McCain's seat was empty. Senator Akaka, Senator Levin and Senator Inhofe, Senator Susan Collins, Senator Clair McCaskill, Senator Mark Udall, Senator Mark Begich, Senator Joe Liberman and Senator Kay Hagan were the only ones left to ask questions and listen to the answers.

General Chiarelli said the cooperation between the DOD and the VA had never been better. When a soldier decided to leave service, they were already in the VA system. Remember, that was back in 2010.

General Amos had the same statement on the cooperation between the Marines and the VA.

Adm. Greenert said the same thing. The cooperation had never been better.

General Chandler also said they had a very comfortable relationship with the VA and transitioning the Airmen.

When you hear what was said, what was claimed, back in 2010, it makes the results all the more troubling. When you see how few members of the Senate Armed Services Committee showed up to take an interest in what was happening, it leaves few questions as to why things have been so bad after they continued to simply fund programs that clearly were not working.

In the end, after all the trainings, they talked about how non-deployed committed suicide after being screened. If they were unable to stop them for committing suicide with the same training they gave to the deployed multiple times, how did they expect a different outcome?

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