President Announces Open Season On Combat Veterans
James Smith, Contributor
The White House Briefing Room released another Executive Order, this time to “help” veterans who may be suffering from mental health issues. And in doing so, adds to the government payroll future union members and drains on the American economy.
For Immediate Release August 31, 2012
IMPROVING ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, AND MILITARY FAMILIES
Mr. Obama wants to see by the end of this year, a full 50% increase in Veteran Crisis Line employees. And the funny thing about governments, they want to see a return on investment. Even if they are running at a loss.
Further, veterans can let someone know they are having problems by using insecure means of communication such as phone texts and online chats.
Sec. 2. Suicide Prevention. (a) By December 31, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs, in continued collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, shall expand the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent to ensure that veterans have timely access, including by telephone, text, or online chat, to qualified, caring responders who can help address immediate crises and direct veterans to appropriate care. Further, the Department of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that any veteran identifying him or herself as being in crisis connects with a mental health professional or trained mental health worker within 24 hours. The Department of Veterans Affairs also shall expand the number of mental health professionals who are available to see veterans beyond traditional business hours.
The government will also being hiring 2,400 counselors and mental health professionals, many who would start at about $80k a year, and would pay off the new employees' student loans to make this all happen. Student loans for such professionals would range between $150,000 to $200,000.
Sec. 4. Expanded Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services Staffing. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, by December 31, 2013, hire and train 800 peer to peer counselors to empower veterans to support other veterans and help meet mental health care needs. In addition, the Secretary shall continue to use all appropriate tools, including collaborative arrangements with community based providers, pay setting authorities, loan repayment and scholarships, and partnerships with health care workforce training programs to accomplish the Department of Veterans Affairs’ goal of recruiting, hiring, and placing 1,600 mental health professionals by June 30, 2013.But the real issue at hand here is one that is generated by the VA themselves, and not through the “moral weakness” of the veteran.
Suicide is a very serious issue. There are very few people who have not been affected by a suicide by a family member, friend, or acquaintance. But many suicides by veterans are preventable.
In a 2004 study (Carr, Hoge, Gardner, & Potter, 2004) it was found by reviewing non-official records that there were 17% more military suicides and 4% more military deaths that were suspicious for suicide than what was reported in the official records. Deaths apparently hidden to hide a serious problem.
And the media does not help the matter. A 2011 study (Edwards-Stewart, Kinn, June, & Fullerton, 2011) found that the media violated established guidelines in nearly all of the 240 reviewed stories from 15 different sources. Stories of suicides by US Service Members included “more pejorative language and discussion of failed psychological treatment. Conversely, civilian articles romanticized the victim and provided more details regarding the suicide.”
A 2012 Study (Hyman, Ireland, Frost, & Cottrell, 2012) showed that: “Additional research needs to address the increasing rates of suicide in active duty personnel. This should include careful evaluation of suicide prevention programs and the possible increase in risk associated with SSRIs and other mental health drugs, as well as the possible impact of shorter deployments, age, mental health diagnoses, and relationship problems.” Emphasis added.
Feeding the veteran’s mental health problem is the VA themselves. It has been reported since before 2006 that antidepressants, the “Go To” drug for suicide prevention, have caused people to commit suicide. The Food and Drug Administration noted in September 2004 that such drugs may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in children and teenagers. The human brain does not stop developing until middle age. Well within the age ranges to be affected by antidepressants provided after being discharged by the military and provided help by the VA.
The drugs on the list that have been shown to increase suicidal tendencies include:
|Celexa (citalopram)||Effexor (venlafaxine)||Lexapro (escitalopram)|
|Luvox (fluvoxamine)||Paxil (paroxetine)||Prozac (fluoxetine)|
|Remeron (mirtazapine)||Serzone (nefazodone)||Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)|
Of these, only Lexapro, Luvox, and Serzone are not in the current VA drug formulary. Bupropion is the first line smoking cessation medication used by VA and civilian doctors as well.
Celexa has a dirty and questionable past. It was revealed in 2011 Forest Pharmaceuticals paid the principal investigator of a federally funded antidepressant drug study to fix the results in favor of Celexa.
But the most amazing part of all this is the VA insistence that antidepressants are safe. From the study (Gibbons, Brown, Hur, Marcus, Bhaumik, & Mann, 2007):
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that SSRI treatment has a protective effect in all adult age groups. They do not support the hypothesis that SSRI treatment places patients at greater risk of suicide.The President wants to help veterans. The best way he can is to cancel this order, and demand that Veterans are provided more cognitive therapy and less medication. And leave office. That would do the most good.
Carr, J. R., Hoge, C. W., Gardner, J., & Potter, R. (2004). Suicide surveillance in the U.S. Military — reporting and classification biases in rate calculations. Suicide Life Threatening Behavior, 34(Autumn), pp. 233-41.
Edwards-Stewart, A., Kinn, J. T., June, J. D., & Fullerton, N. R. (2011). Military and civilian media coverage of suicide. Archive of Suicide Research, 15(4), pp. 304-312.
Gibbons, R. D., Brown, C. H., Hur, K., Marcus, S. M., Bhaumik, D. K., & Mann, J. J. (2007, July). Relationship Between Antidepressants and Suicide Attempts: An Analysis of the Veterans Health Administration Data Sets. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, pp. 1044-1049.
Hyman, J., Ireland, R., Frost, L., & Cottrell, L. (2012, Mar). Suicide incidence and risk factors in an active duty US military population. American Journal Of Public Health, pp. S138-46.
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This article first appeared at Prepper Podcast Radio Network.
Read other articles by James Smith HERE.
James is a father of four and grandfather to four. He and his wife of almost 30 years have been prepping since 2003. They live in a small town, with neighbors as close as 10 feet away and have raised chickens for 2 years covertly on less than 1/5 of an acre. He is a former corrections officer, insurance fraud investigator, and he served in the Navy for 6 years. He currently works for a corporation dealing with the disabled population and their benefits. He is the host of The Covert Prepper show and the Prepper Podcast Radio Network News, both heard on Blogtalk Radio.