Saturday, August 17, 2013

Combat PTSD numbers prove you have a lot of company

If you think you are alone with Combat PTSD numbers prove you have a lot of company.
Phila VA holds summit on vets' mental health problems
The Inquirer
Curtis Skinner Staff Writer
August 16, 2013

For 30 years, L. Bunny Johnson flew in combat zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan, rescuing fallen soldiers by medevac. But when she got back, she was the one needing medical help for her invisible wounds. "Mistrust, PTSD, mental health problems in general . . . Let's just leave it at that," said Johnson, 60, of Abington.

Asked about the scale of mental illness in the veteran community, she said, "On a scale of one to 10, I'd go to 30." Her trauma - and desire to help others - led her to a summit Friday at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. About 80 people - from experts to veterans - came to discuss the growing epidemic of mental illness among veterans and what could be done to help them.

Nationwide, the number of VA patients being treated for mental illness spiked 45 percent between 2005 and 2012, reaching about 1.8 million. But over the same period, the number of veterans in the system grew by only 16 percent. In 2010, an estimated 22 veterans committed suicide each day. In response, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs called for centers across the country to hold summits like the one in Philadelphia. Eight are scheduled through September in Pennsylvania and another one is set for Sept. 18 at the Lyons Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System to get input on ways to help struggling veterans.
read more here

However I am not optimistic about this summit unless they are actually looking for what has worked instead of just focusing on what the DOD and the VA have been doing. The results prove too much has already failed.

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