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Veteran’s Administration Launches New Suicide Prevention Website

Posted Aug 27 2009 11:37pm

Given that suicides by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could outnumber the combat deathsiStock_000006185318Small, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) has been under a lot of pressure to do more prevention.  The VA recently launched a Suicide Prevention Website.  The site is not ideal, but there is plenty of information there and some useful downloads.  On the landing page you’ll find access to  Veterans Chat, an online chat service that is operational from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm EST.

The most important page is this one, which lists warning signs and the national suicide prevention hotline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The VA has been accused of suppressing data about suicides among the returning troops, and the Army was accused of pressuring it’s medical personal to refrain from diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be very costly to treat.

According to a recent press release from the Army: “In January, the Army implemented an Army-wide effort to combat the rise of suicide in its ranks. The Army mandated a suicide prevention stand-down that involved 1.1 million soldier; established a Suicide Prevention Task Force; has made dozens of improvements to Army Policies, procedures and resouces; and recruited additional psychological and behavioral health counselors.”

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