DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference

(6:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

This past week a conference opened, from the 10th to the 14th of January 2010, to discuss the growing suicide rate among our military and veterans community.

This is an extremely important issue, the Mental Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress as to War, that should be right up there along side never starting one except as a Very Last Resort when all else fails and to always plan an exit strategy as we should have done in Afghanistan after 9/11. Bringing in any and all support functions, promised rebuilding monies, NGO’s, government agencies gear to help rebuild including those in the military, in Afghanistan’s case after toppling the government that supported the criminal terrorist who carried out the devastating attacks on our country. Iraq should never had been allowed to happen!

2010 Military Suicide Prevention Conference: Department of Defense | Veterans Affairs

Eric Shinseki delivered the keynote address at the 2010 Department of Defense/Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Conference. He and other officials spoke about rising suicide rates among young veterans and efforts by the VA and military to better prevent suicide.

Video is about 1 hour, 17 minutes

There are related video’s at the above site link.

If you don’t want to view the whole one hour plus video opening to the conference, though you really should, this link takes you to the General Shinseki opening remarks, he speaks for some twenty minutes plus at the end of the conference opening.

Increase in suicide rate of vets

Jan 11 2010 The suicide rate among 18- to 29-year-old men who’ve left the military has gone up significantly, the government said Monday.

The rate for these veterans went up 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to preliminary data from the Veterans Affairs Department. It’s assumed that most of the veterans in this age group served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

If there is a bright spot in the data, it’s that in 2007 veterans in the group who used VA health care were less likely to commit suicide than those who did not. That’s a change from 2005.


At a conference on Monday in Washington dedicated to addressing the issue, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said his agency needs to do a better job understanding what led to each suicide. He said he’d also like to see more stringent protocol put into place at VA facilities about how to handle a potentially suicide veteran, similar to what’s done with someone who’s having a heart attack….>>>>>

For some four decades plus those of us who served in Vietnam recognized the mental problems many of our brothers were experiencing, we weren’t the only ones many in the anti war movement did as well that we started becoming involved with, as we were coming back from that long running occupation. Those who formed and then others who joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War then later in the early eighties when Veterans For Peace was formed and roughly around the same time, before and after, Vietnam Veterans of America also became involved, as one of the main issues, as advocates and activist which started to bring out those of World War II and Korea who had been suffering in silence or who recognized the mental problems their brothers and sisters were suffering, few talk about War except with their own.

Conference Web site: The 2010 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference: Building Strong and Resilient Communities

Date: 10 – 14 January, 2010

Details: Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury and the Department of Veterans Affairs present the 2010 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference.

The purpose of the 2010 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference is to: >>>>>

Veteran Gives Insight on Suicide Prevention

Retired Army Maj. Ed Pulido talks about the psychological struggles he faced after being wounded in Iraq to an audience of more than 1,000 government health-care professionals at the 2010 Defense Department/Department of Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference, Jan. 11, 2010, in Washington, D.C. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2010 – When retired Army Maj. Ed Pulido was medically evacuated from Iraq in August 2004, he knew tough challenges were ahead, as he’d have to learn to live without his left leg.

But as he sat in his hospital bed at Brooke Army Medical Center on Fort Sam Houston, Texas, he began to realize that recovering from his physical disability was only a small part of that challenge.

“When my leg was taken away … I sat in the hospital bed not knowing what was happening to me mentally,” said Pulido, who medically retired after a 19-year Army career. “I remember those three weeks at Brooke where I thought about the fact that as positive as I am, I hit that dark place, and those hidden wounds were the ones that would cripple me at times when I just didn’t understand.” ….>>>>>

Suicide prevention continues to elude Army leaders

January 12, 2010 While the Army has devoted unprecedented resources and attention to the increasing suicide rate of soldiers, service leaders still don’t have a good handle on how to prevent troops from taking their own lives.

“It’s deeply disconcerting,” said Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist and the Army’s director of behavioral health. “We’ve been working on this for a long time, yet still we had eight active-duty suicides in the first eight days of this year.”

Ritchie made the remarks Monday during a conference on suicide prevention in Washington held jointly by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments…..>>>>>

Editorial: Finally, military lifts stigma of stress illness

Jan 12 2010 The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created nearly 1 million veterans and about 20 percent of them are being treated or have been treated for mental health conditions. But the suicide rate continues to climb, with the latest increase at 26 percent for males between ages 18 and 29.

One in five Americans who kill themselves each year served in the military, according to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

The military has come a long way in recognizing and reacting to the stresses of combat in the United States, but as these data from 2005 to 2007 show, there is a long struggle ahead. The prevalence of suicide is alarming: In 2005, the rate per 100,000 veterans among this age group was 44.99. Two years later, it was 56.77, the VA reports.

The silver lining is that the rate is lower for those veterans who seek VA care. So the challenge is to make sure mental health services are readily available and effective. The data do not capture the effects of increased staffing and other changes at VA centers in the past two years. The VA has hired thousands more caregivers and established a hot line that it credits with about 6,000 “rescues.”….>>>>>

As I said above it’s been some forty plus years of advocacy, with many veterans and some civilians, the rest of the country refused to hear or heed the true results of the wars, especially of choice, they support. And as we saw with the lead up to the Iraq invasion some seventy plus percent supported the beating of those war drums even once again slandering their fellow citizens with extreme vile language, name calling and sometimes violence. The established veterans organizations, the VFW and American Legion, followed the majority view of the country, even though many within them knew what was going on with many veterans who served in our many conflicts.

Veterans see increased suicide rates

Jan 11 2010 Help available from local D.A.V. to veterans


One local veteran, Steve Gibson, said he understands why some vets decide to end it all.

“The adjustment is either you can adjust and pick up your life and pick up the pieces without the people you left behind,” said Gibson. “Some of the other people can’t do it they end up finding too many road blocks and they decide to take matters into their own hands and ending it. I’m not saying that’s ok.”

Gibson said he may not think suicide is right, but he can understand the feelings that would cause a veteran to commit suicide.

“The thought has crossed my mind,” Gibson admitted.

He said after 7 years in the marine corps and one tour in Iraq, when he came home to the states he felt lost. He said he suffers form Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While overall, through the support of his family, friends and the Grand Rapids’ chapter of Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.), he feels better, he still takes each day one at a time.

“The mentality is you expect to come home and find things where you left off and it’s not like that,” said Gibson….>>>>>

Officials Urge Collaboration in Suicide Prevention

Ellen P. Embrey, assistant defense secretary for health affairs, speaks at the 2010 Defense Department/ Department of Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference Jan. 11, 2010, in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 military and other-government health-care professionals and others attended the conference. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2010 – There are no clear-cut answers to suicide prevention, but through collaboration and team work from federal and private institutions, the nation can better address the challenge, Defense and Veteran Affairs department officials said today.

In a joint Defense-VA conference here, more than 1,000 military and other-government health-care workers and officials gathered for the 2nd Annual DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference. Titled “Building Strong and Resilient Communities,” the conference is the largest of its kind for military members and their families…..>>>>>

Better Mental Fitness Will Help Prevent Suicide, Sutton Says

Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, delivers the opening remarks at the 2010 Defense Department/Department of Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C.. Jan. 11, 2010. More than 1,000 military, government, health care officials and others attended the weeklong conference to collaborate their initiatives and experience in suicide prevention. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2010 – Preventing suicide is more than simply recognizing the signs, it involves building strong community and individual support before the idea ever sets in, the Army’s top psychiatrist and director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury said here today.

“[Suicide prevention] involves building and developing a tool kit for life,” Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton said in her opening remarks at the 2010 departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference.

The weeklong conference is geared toward increasing collaboration between the military services and VA by raising awareness and sharing best practices in prevention…..>>>>>

There’s only one positive effect, of major importance, of the two present occupations and that is it’s finally woken up this country, and other populations, to the mental effects of War on not only the soldiers and occupied fighting them but also the civilian populations of. It has also, finally, brought some understanding about the trauma many suffer in personal lives, not connected with wars, that causes them to also develop post traumatic stress as they suffered in relative silence before.

Extremely Sadly it took two more major devastating and destructive occupations to finally wake up more and more civilian advocates and activists, as well as the help of modern technology, more veterans to open up, the media to start reporting on this, even story lines in movies and drama’s to be sensitized rather then laying blame or making the characters be criminal and finally the Military and the VSO’s to come forward as to what war does to many mentally and the causes of like suicide and even lashing out in destructive behavior and more, much more!!


    • jimstaro on January 13, 2010 at 18:29

    Military misconduct may be sign of PTSD

    In 2007, a high-ranking Navy doctor sent a sobering warning to colleagues: The service may be discharging soldiers for misconduct when in fact they are merely displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    By doing so, the anonymous doctor noted in a memo to other medical administrators, the service may be denying those troops their rights to Veterans Affairs benefits – including treatment for medical conditions they incurred while serving on the battlefield.

    In the future, any military personnel facing dismissal for misconduct after a deployment should be screened first for PTSD, the memo said. The recommendation was never implemented….>>>>>

    • jimstaro on January 14, 2010 at 14:47

    IDGA Announces Launch of New Annual Military Healthcare Convention & Conference

    The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, Exhibitions Group (IDGA) announces the launch of its inaugural Military Healthcare Convention & Conference (MHCC) scheduled for June 22-25, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas.

    The objective of the event is to create a national, large-scale military medical event where healthcare professionals (all military branches, Tricare, and non-military) come to learn about new developments in a range of disciplines as well as gain insights and transparency into the continuum of care.

    “Caregivers have indicated that they are looking for two specific experiences” stated Michael Gallo, Managing Director of IDGA Exhibitions. “The first is that they want to benchmark and compare notes with others in the same discipline who are facing the same challenges. The second is that they seek greater transparency and insights into the continuum of care, specifically care that is occurring before and after points of treatment. Our team’s objective is to create an environment where both of these experiences can occur simultaneously.”

    Specific conference topics will include continuum of care panels and individual sessions on important issues like pre-deployment care, golden hour care, assessment of and treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)….More Here

    • jimstaro on January 14, 2010 at 14:50

    These types of Family Stresses Also Contribute to the stresses the soldier deployed, especially in occupation theaters, and leads to the mental injuries that develop.

    Study finds war, deployments exhausting Army spouses

    Wives of soldiers deployed to war zones are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and sleep disorders than women whose husbands are home, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Researchers from the University of North Carolina and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences examined medical records of more than 250,000 women married to active-duty soldiers. They reviewed records for outpatient care received between 2003 and 2006…..>>>>>

    DoD Military Health System

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