A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

War: Suicide Rates For Veterans

Pic from the official site of the 1st Marine Corps District

Via Raw Story comes a report that CBS News has found veterans are committing suicide at twice the rate of the civilian population.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates deaths from suicide in the civilian population aged 10 - 24 at approximately 4,600 in 2004, making suicide the third leading cause of death. Suicide deaths rose by 8 per cent from 2003. CDC reports that is the largest increase seen in 15 years.

The report on military suicides appears to be based on a study funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) that shows male veterans in the general U.S. population are twice as likely as their civilian peers to die by suicide. Results of the research by Mark S. Kaplan, DrPH, and colleagues from Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University were published online June 11 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and will appear in the July issue. The study also reported this intriguing fact:
... 75 percent of veterans do not get their health care through the VA ... .
A larger study, a joint effort between the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the University of Michigan, reports that veterans receiving treatment for depression are no more likely to take their own lives than are civilian patients, according to the New York Times. The report cautions, however, that because most former servicemen and women with mental problems do not seek treatment in the Veterans Affairs system, the results should not be applied too widely. Hmm. There it is again. That disturbing fact.

Numerous studies have shown that war has detrimental effects on the mental health of civilian and military populations.
Among the consequences of war, the impact on the mental health of the civilian population is one of the most significant. Studies of the general population show a definite increase in the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders. Women are more affected than men. Other vulnerable groups are children, the elderly and the disabled. Prevalence rates are associated with the degree of trauma, and the availability of physical and emotional support. The use of cultural and religious coping strategies is frequent in developing countries.
"Almost one-third of U.S. soldiers seeking government health care after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with a mental problem, researchers said on Monday in a study calling for more emphasis on the mental wounds of war."
And, from researcher Dr. Karen Seal of the University of California and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center:
... the prevalence of mental problems among veterans threatens "to bring the war back home as a costly personal and public health burden."

"Our results signal a need for improvements in the primary prevention of military service-related mental health disorders, particularly among our youngest service members,"
Seal wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Seal reports that 31 percent of the 100,000+ veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were diagnosed with at least one mental health problem. These people are not getting the help they need. The cost to their families and society is huge and burdensome. Meanwhile Awol McChimpface continues to slash spending on veterans' health care, even as he accuses everyone but God of "not supporting teh troops."

The worthless blivet needs to be impeached.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Stumble It!


At 4:32 AM, Blogger sangeetha said...

More than 120 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq commit suicide every week while the government stalls in granting returning troops the mental health treatment and benefits to which they are entitled, veterans advocates told a federal judge Monday in San Francisco


Alaska Drug Treatment

Alaska Drug Treatment

At 11:25 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thank you for your comment, Sangeetha. Obviously, it's time to revisit the situation and write an updated post.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home