Sunday, July 5, 2015

Are Military Suicides Higher Because They Outsourced Care?

This leaves a lot of questions. "Why did the DOD fund a college for current military members? What about all the money they received from Congress to reduce military suicides? Why would they do this when they have 900 other programs?
Veterans Hotline Tries to Survive Without Pentagon Funds
New York Times
JULY 4, 2015

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — In a row of beige cubicles in a suburban office park, a hulking former Army sergeant hunched over his phone next to a photo taken in Afghanistan, a few days before he was hurt by a roadside bomb.

“Look, man, sometimes you’re dealt a raw deal and you’ve got to play it,” the former sergeant, Adriel Gonzalez, said into his headset. Big as a bouncer, he wielded his gruff voice tenderly. “I’ve known you long enough that you’re ready to hear this: It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. You might be in for a lifelong struggle, but it is a doable one. This I can tell you, my friend.”
The idea of using veterans to help peers grew out of a hotline set up by the State of New Jersey in 1999 to make retired police officers available to offer anonymous support to other officers, said Christopher Kosseff, the president of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, which hosts the police peer line and Vets4Warriors.
Today, the 40 peers at Vets4Warriors come from all branches. A bank of clocks on the wall showing the time in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and Germany serves as a reminder of the array of troops who seek help. A recent call came from a ship in the Persian Gulf, where a young sailor had concerns about finding a job after leaving the Navy.
read more here
Since 2010, thousands of Service members have found confidential assistance using our Peer Support Line. Who better to understand the challenges of military life than someone who has lived it? Veterans provide support to military members, engaging them in a personal, non-threatening way. Our peer support network is confidential and caller information will not be shared with the military or the VA. Sometimes, the issues will require specific expertise, such as financial resources, legal advice or medical services. Our Veteran Peers will work to find the best options for the caller and help make the connection in their local communities.

The Vets4Warriors Peer Support Line is staffed entirely by Veterans with funding from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office.

This is from RAND Corp Study.
We found that DoD is the largest funder of suicide prevention research having recently funded 61 studies at the cost of more than $100 million. This figure does not include the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (known as Army STARRS), a $65 million study funded jointly by the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Mental Health.

It doesn't matter how much money they spent or how many years they have been spending it since the numbers kept going up even as the number of military service members were reduced.

DSPO [Defense Suicide Prevention Office] program evaluation approach tracks requirements, funding, and will unite efficiency measures with effectiveness for continuous process improvement reporting on shortfalls and duplications. We are evaluating training to develop core competencies for peer, command, clinical, and pastoral requirements.

A critical aspect of preventing suicide is eliminating stigma that prevents service members or families from seeking help. DOD and V.A. are implementing President Obama’s executive order and have a 12-month help-seeking ‘‘Stand By Them’’ campaign to encourage servicemembers, veterans, and their families to contact the military crisis line by phone or online.

We are expanding it in Europe and we are expanding it to Japan and Korea. It is at larger bases in Afghanistan, and where it is not available we have trained medics to initiate a peer support call line, similar to the Guard’s Vets4Warriors program.

I am not about to release a single tear over Rutgers losing funding for this from the DOD. I am sure they'll find money elsewhere however, the lives lost while the DOD refused to stop outsourcing care of the troops, they also failed to hold anyone accountable for the rise in the number of lives lost.

That is part of the problem with all this suicide awareness running amok across the country. No one is ever held accountable for what they do or do not do.

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