I have been watching the rate of suicides among our veterans and farmers as well….It is troubling at the rate these groups are killing themselves…..I wrote recently about military suicides……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/
Let’s look at the suicides by active military personnel……
The suicide rate among veterans and, now, among active-duty GIs is at an historic high. The U.S. Marine Corps, for example, just turned in an all-time record in 2018 for attempted and successful suicides in a year (354 active and reserve). Marine Colonel Dom D. Ford, writing in the Marine Times, is grasping at straws to explain the rising rates, from claiming there is too little Christian religion in the ranks to the Marines not being willing to accept counsel and advice. As for the too little Christianity in the ranks, as an advisory board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I know the opposite is true: there is too much Dominionist Christianity in the ranks. In fact, as soon as Colonel Ford made his comments, the phones at MRFF began ringing.
But might there be far greater reasons than these desperate efforts suggest behind such a deadly development?
Once the soldier leaves the service he becomes a stat for the VA…..let’s look at those issues as well….
Veteran health care and specifically veteran mental health is a severe problem in this nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has over 150 hospitals nationwide and over 2,000 community-based outpatient clinics.
Still, 20 veterans each day lose their lives to suicide — a number that has not changed for almost a decade.
The same number of suicides occur each day despite billions of dollars being funded to the VA through Congress to hire mental health clinicians, develop and implement programs and services, and increase awareness and provide education to veterans.
This one issue is so sad for it is the easiest to help…..the VA needs to be more in-tuned to the needs to vets and stop playing politics with the rest of the toads in DC.
Our veterans deserve the best care money can buy….not bargain basement pseudo-science that the deficit hawks would have them treated with……we need to do better…..much better.
Now the hardest hit group by suicide is Trump supporters……
In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.
A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes. What’s more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually — the suicide rate — has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.
Then there is the info about Native American women…
Suicide rates for Native Americans have been rising faster than any other group, a new CDC analysis says: 139% for women and 71% for men since 1999. Experts say poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and lack of access to mental health care are all contributing factors, USA Today reports. For the US overall, suicide is up 33% in the same period. A 2018 report from the CDC listed the suicide rate non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives was more than 3.5 times higher than the incidence among racial and ethnic groups with the lowest rates.
Maybe now would be a good time to make mental health a priority…..and spend less time debating semantics.
Just A Thought!