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Lv 6
docjp asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

What spcifically is wrong with VA mental health that?

so many veterans are committing suicide?


Could incompetence or lack of proper training have anything to do with the problem....

Update 2:

Since all mental conflicts are within ones MIND, and not one in a thousand mental health professionals today know what the MIND is, could this be what's wrong?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I worked as a nurse through the 80s and quit in 93 to raise children,I can only speak about what I saw as issues of that time.

    During that time the majority of men and women that were being treated in the VA facilities suffering from emotional illness were veitnam vets.

    1.the first problem seemed to be a lack of understanding as to why so many returning vets were suffering from mental issues.

    there was the tendancy to drug and ignore them.

    2.the government as a whole had a policy of denying that exposure to certain chemicals could be the cause of mental illness .

    so quite often these men and women were looked at as weak minded to begin with and their symptoms were often disregaurded.

    after all they reasoned ,most older vets came home fine and

    there was little support from the older generation of veterans who regaurded them as whiney babies who should just suck it up and get over it.

    V.V.s came home to nation that had no understanding of what had happened and was still happening to them and didnt want to deal with their issues.

    3.there was a lack of people.

    trained to deal with such things as post traumatic stress,and the effects of drugs and other chemicals on the human body.

    4.lack of facilities to find treatment

    most large cities will have a VA doctor but still a vet would have to go to the nearest VA hospital for long term care or testing, and quite often a vet would have to move to be close to a facility that offered out patient care for mental health issues.( I still have an uncle that travels 200 miles twice a year to see his doctor to have him okay his prescriptions.)He can not drive himself so has to make arrangments.including meals and overnight stay in a motel.

    Is that reasonable?

    wouldnt it make more sense to integrate the civil and govermental medical communities so there was better care and Vets could have care available in every community?

    5.shortage of trained care givers.

    The last year that I was in nursing school,recruiters came in and tried to get people to commit to nursing positions in Va hospitals, they promised some sweet deals,hard to turn down, and this was before I even graduated.

    Then after I passed my boards ,they showed up at my door with an even sweeter deal.LOL They were desperate.

    6.wrong priorities.

    In 2000 I was doing some home care for a VV and the VA paid for that and 2 trips to rehab ,several surgeries,(including a stomach stapleing) and a special bed and a special chair and a wheelchair.but they couldnt provide mental health care to alleviate his destructive behaviors or suicidal tendencies because he lived too far from the nearest facility!

    seems it hasnt changed much in the last 30 years.

    they take care of the results of the disorder instead of the underlying problems.

    All these things add up to a general feeling of distrust of the system that promised to take care of them for their service to the country,and a feeling of hopelessness resulting in a spiral down to the only answer. relief in death.

    those I know that have survived and gone on to restore their lives have done so not through care given to them by the VA but by non-profit groups such as VV support groups ,A.A. and N.A.

    these are my thoughts on this subject.


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  • BPCB
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The same thing that is wrong with the mental health system within today's military. Why are so many young soldiers committing suicide? The entire mental health system is antiquated and mediocre at best. You can only force treatment if the mentally ill individual is a danger to himself or others. 72 hrs in patient care if you're lucky. The whole process is nothing more than a vicious circle. On the other side of the coin are the people who understand their illness, want help, ask for help, and fall through the cracks of the bureaucratic system.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Has to do with American Culture. Too much video games and not enough farm boys. The problem is not with VA mental health care, the problem is we're spoiled. Government is not the problem or the answer. And certainly not the Va, anyone who relies on that is a winp going in and should know better.

    If the military selected based on knowledge of Jedi, it would be better. To go into battle, not only with Jihadists but with the bureaucracy of our own government, one must know the ways of The Force and continue to hold tight to Chi, the vital life force which is our connection to that which makes us whole.

    Unfortunately, American Culture is not conducive to that. So it's a Darwinian system: the strong will survive. This is good in the long run. Look at Viet Nam vets: most went on to achieve, some stand on the offramp with cardboard signs. This is human nature and there's no getting away from it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Our Vets are not getting the benefits & funding& RESPECT that they deserve. They have gone off to an ill conceived war & given it their all. Countless numbers of them are coming home with the most catastrophic injuries ever seen. Many are missing multiple limbs & some- half of their brains!! What do they get in return...10% of their benifits & told to go & enjoy their lives! How can they? Many are unemployable & become dependent on their families. These are our fine young men& women...OUR FUTURE, & they come home to find they do not have the ways & means to live some sembalance of a normal life. Many have families & children that they cannot support because of their injuries sustained while doing their duty & putting their life on the line for their country. Under those circumstances I can see how suicide is happening

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  • 1 decade ago

    Overworked, underfunded, access to less of the newer meds that cost more - that's psychiatry per a friend of mine. Psychology and therapy is probably about the same - not enough resources to provide the care needed. And, war is hell as the true cliche goes. Some ppl don't come back, and some ppl only come back a shell. It's tragic and the VA is not equipped to deal with the aftermath of Iraq.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Could it be that the current administration (of the Presidency) doesn't give a fig & squanders military lives, civililan lives, and American dollars for the gain of a select few? The specifics are complicated, covert, and self-serving for the power elite. Only deep investigation will bring to light the vile goings-on that take away from the citizens and the soldiers who believe the empty words (lies) that are served to them. "Something is rotten in the State of Denmark," not to mention the United States of America. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh...

    i am Sirius

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I feel it is underfunding...most medical companies and nsurances don't look at mental illness the same way as a physical illness, so there is much less money put toward it, or doctors are far less likely to take the symptoms seriously...

    Also, soldiers are proud people are trained to be stoic..most probably fear coming forward with symptoms of depression, or they don't want the label..

    Also, they might fear the label of being "crazy" or having restricted duty put on them or it getting to other solideers tha tthey are depressed..

    Not only with vets but with the general population ,espeically males, there is a stigma attached to having a mental illness or receiving treatment for it....sad but true.....

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My father is retired from the Va and I know a lady who is a veteran with bi polar illness. I think they prescribe drugs that are wrong for the patients many times. there are some drugs that can cause people to become suicidal and I think it is called efexor or something like that I am not sure.

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  • Habib
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Those who suicide are most of the times away from religion.

    Suicides among practicing religious people is far less.

    As for religion, it could be Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

    Source(s): a Maverick
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  • 1 decade ago

    i believe the staff is so stretched and under paid that they are totally over-whelmed with what they need or should be able to do tohelp! in and out as fast as possible, five them a rx and hope for the best. sucks, doesn't it! these people have given so much and getting so little in return

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