The efforts the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) have been making toward preventing suicide among soldiers, veterans, and veterans with disabilities may not have been enough. According to an article in The Huffington Post, some of the systems in place to prevent these tragedies are “insufficient” to overcome the reason veterans and soldiers aren’t seeking help.
A recent study discovered an increase in suicides among veterans and soldiers since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have started. There were over 1,800 suicide attempts made in 2009 alone. According to the VA, a veteran will take his own life every 80 minutes. With these numbers, the need for new, widespread, and more effective suicide prevention and treatment programs has become very apparent.
The country may be facing a real danger with the imminent return of so many troops within the next couple of months. It’s feared that, without severe changes, overburdening the VA health care system with the influx of new veterans will result in a rash of new suicides.
The stigma surrounding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is still very real in the military world. That stigma has unfortunately prevented soldiers and veterans from getting the help they need, and has cost lives. Not every VA or DoD prevention program is worthless but if the veterans and soldiers aren’t seeking out help because of the stigma attached to having PTSD, the effectiveness of the program is irrelevant.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-855-855-8992.