Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 1, 2009


The Suicide Prevention campaign of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding its outreach to all Veterans by piloting an online, one-to-one "chat service" for Veterans who prefer reaching out for assistance using the Internet. “I could have easily died or not been able to walk because of that. It destroyed my world.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now estimates that more than 600 veterans erroneously received letters telling them they had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. "Creating a waiting list in mental health is a dangerous proposition." have missed multiple teachable moments in regards to mental illness. For example, when it became evident that Iraqi war veterans are at high risk for suicide, there was little talk about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, its symptoms and treatment options. Education begins by speaking openly about mental illness. The cruel and ineffective treatments that characterised psychiatry in the mid-20th century -- for instance, prefrontal leucotomy and insulin coma therapy -- would not have been accepted had psychiatrists not been in thrall to the idea that mental illnesses are genetically determined brain diseases. Today, although mental health professionals are usually much more compassionate than in those dark times, psychiatric services continue to see their primary objective as ensuring that patients take their medication. An Iraq war veteran and his wife were found shot to death in what may be a murder-suicide. Family members blame post-traumatic stress. Defense attorneys insist that not considering the mental health problems while sentencing a veteran is overlooking a major mitigating factor. Today, there are more Vietnam veterans living on the streets than the number of soldiers who died in that war.

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