A staggering statistic
A recent report from the Military Times shows that suicide among veterans is worse than what previous data tells us. It can be more than double what the annual report from federal officials list.
The reason is that they may have been undercounting drug overdose death. Also, there may be service record errors too. This could mean that the rate is 44 veteran suicides per day, compared to the previous rate of 17 veteran suicides per day.
The suicidal crisis among veterans demands action, including providing veterans the emergency healthcare they need.
If you are a veteran experiencing suicidal thoughts, or if it is affecting someone you love, here is what you need to know about healthcare for veterans and getting help.
Emergency Healthcare for Veterans
Beginning January 2023, emergency healthcare for veterans who are in a suicidal crisis is free. As suicide is causing more deaths among veterans than combat, time is of the essence in finding a solution.
Whether a veteran enrolls in the VA system, or if they are in a suicidal crisis, they can still visit VA or non-VA healthcare facilities to get help. Before, veterans would have a fee or co-pay when getting help.
Further, the VA is offering reimbursement for healthcare for veterans with their ambulance rides to a hospital. They will cover 30 days of crisis or inpatient residential care and cover 90 days of outpatient care.
Do Not Wait to Get Help
Getting help for our veterans who risked their lives to defend our country is a national responsibility. With this change, healthcare facilities can take another step forward to make a difference.
There are protective measures that veterans can take too. Besides mental health care, they can connect with their family and join a community support group.
Cultural and religious beliefs also help. It is important to encourage a strong sense of self-esteem or purpose.
What Leads to Suicide?
There is not one root cause. It commonly happens when health issues and stressors combine. They create a feeling of despair.
The most common condition of suicide is depression. Too often, depression goes undiagnosed and untreated. When a veteran suffers from depression, substance problems, and anxiety, and they do not address them with a professional, there is a greater risk of suicide.
Suicidal thoughts are a warning side that a veteran needs help. If they can get the help they need, and manage their mental health conditions, they have a better chance at improving their quality of life, while also avoiding a suicidal crisis.
Helping the Victims of PTSD
As a resource for the general public, the Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger Foundation for PTSD is raising awareness. We are proud to help the nation’s veterans through education, events, online resources, and much more.
Our team of volunteers is dedicated to sharing information, including this article on the new VA offering for emergency healthcare. There are many more resources included on our website.
You can find videos, articles, and books on PTSD. We also have links for the VA and additional websites where you can find resources to help you or someone you love.
The Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger Foundation for PTSD is here to assist veterans. Click here to contact us now!