Veterans Are Committing Suicide in VA Parking Lots: Report

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From Military Times: “Nineteen suicides have occurred on VA campuses from October 2017 to November 2018 ― seven of them in parking lots, according to data the Washington Post obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some are worried that this is a gruesome form of protest by veterans to highlight how little help they were given in their time of need by the VA system. […]

[Marine Corps veteran Justin] Miller killed himself after four days in the Minneapolis VA’s mental-health unit, and [former Army Sgt. John] Toombs did the same after being kicked out of his treatment program for not following its instructions, including being 20 minutes late to pick up his medications.

Most recently, 55-year-old Marine Col. Jim Turner shot himself in December 2018 outside the Bay Pines Department of Veterans Affairs while dressed in his service uniform. He left a disturbing note that investigators found close to his body: ‘I bet if you look at the 22 suicides a day you will see VA screwed up in 90 percent.’

There were more than 6,000 reported veteran suicides every year from 2008-16, according to the 2005-16 VA National Suicide Data Report. The same report indicated that as of 2016, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times higher than for non-veteran adults.

In January 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to give all veterans access to mental-health services for the entire first year of their new civilian lives. The VA told the Washington Post that it prevented 233 suicide attempts in that October 2017-November 2018 window, which mainly involved VA staff stopping veterans from hurting themselves on their campuses.”

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6 COMMENTS

  1. “The fact that my brother, Justin, never left the VA parking lot — it’s infuriating,” said Harrington, 37. “He did the right thing; he went in for help. I just can’t get my head around it.”

    https://www.stripes.com/news/us/parking-lot-suicides-at-va-hospitals-prompt-calls-for-better-training-prevention-efforts-1.567708

    OK I read it and as usual no description of what the “help” is.

    He was there for 4 days. What was done in those 4 days, how did he spend his time ?

    I don’t know how the VA does things but civilian inpatient “help” you are just locked up with dozens of other distressed people in a chaotic abusive environment. Detention situations are always abusive as the Stanford Prison Experiment is always playing out on some level.

    So he went for help. How was he helped the first hour ? What did they do for him on days 1-4 ? 4 days of help, what is that like and what do you do all day ??? Name 5 ways they help you.

    Tired of them using that vague ass word help and never any description of what that is.

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    • When he went for his alleged help, he may have had to vegetate in the waiting room, waiting among a group of vets suffering from a variety of conditions to be called for his initial interview. VA psych wards in the organization’s general hospitals don’t seem to be bad, although their specialized psych facilities have a number of head injury patients, which can create a rowdy atmosphere- bullets and shell splinters in one’s brain can hardly be considered tranquilizing. The alleged treatments are as sorry as in civilian facilities, although I may be simply peeved at the VA’s inability to diagnose my caffeine sensitivity.

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