Another Call for Action as DoD and VA Suicide Prevention Efforts Continue to Prove Impotent in 2012

Despite More Dollars, Veteran Suicides Remain Unchanged

Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 16, 2012

Eighteen Veterans a day commit suicide. Unfortunately, this is not “new” news, nor is it encouraging. Despite the increase in education and dollars, some of America’s finest men and women continue to lose hope as well as their sense of purpose and call it quits.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, recognizing the issue, is working aggressively to find a solution and recently announced that the department would add approximately 1,900 mental health clinicians to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff, as part of an ongoing review of mental health operations.

VA’s ongoing comprehensive review of mental health operations has indicated that some VA facilities require more mental health staff to serve the growing needs of Veterans. VA is moving quickly to address this as top priority.

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