Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline" to be Renamed

The topic of PTSD and mental health issues among veterans is a topic that is growing every day.  Many veterans experience serious traumatic events during their time of service, whether it was during war or not.  It is easy to see a physical injury, but it is far more difficult to see a mental health issue.  For a long time mental health was not an issue taken seriously, but that seems to be changing.  Over the past year or so there seems to be a sense of urgency to take a closer look at the system and to make some changes to help veterans in need.  One step that was announced yesterday is to rename the "Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline" to the "Crisis Hotline".  The hotline is meant for anybody that is in crisis, and more people are likely to call if the stigma of suicide is removed from the equation.

I am a sufferer of PTSD and I am very relieved to see that the VA is taking this issue more seriously of late.  Since I was discharged from the Army in 2006 I have tried to get help for anxiety issues, and I was given some medicine and pushed away.  They never tried to set up follow-up appointments, and it seemed as if my issues weren't being taken seriously.  I have noticed a big change in the VA's reaction to somebody that is asking for help over the past year or so.  After 4 years of asking for more help than just meds they have decided to try some more intensive therapy, and I finally feel that they are taking me more seriously.

I am glad to see that there are steps are being taken not just in my case, but throughout the whole VA system.  I would have never considered calling a suicide prevention line before because I have never felt suicidal, but it is good to know that there is somebody I can call in a crisis situation if that were to ever come up.  Having veterans commit suicide because they cannot get help for issues they are dealing with is a shame, and I hope that the issue of "military suicide" will go away completely.  Changing the name of the hotline is a step in the right direction, and I hope that they continue to make strides to help those in need.

If you have any questions or comments, please make them.  They can remain anonymous, but I would like to know what you want to read about on my blog.  Thank you for your support!


  1. The VA is not helping those with PTSD. I have used the hotline, got a number to a local va hospital, and got a recording saying call back monday. The VA needs to get out of soldiers care period, it is a monster that serves no purpose but its own existence. 20 plus years and counting, no recognition, no rating. You are a few who actually get treatment. You have survived, you will never see a list of how many died after returning home. I am punished for being a veteran. there is no help, the money was spent by the city Im told. Got people wanting to put me in jail cause I cant meet court the financial burdens of court orders. My new doctor just said, I wasnt sick. 20 years, 5 va hospitals, VSO's, congressmens, you name it, I tried it. Medically discharged, special disabled vet, injured during persian gulf conflict. No rating, no recognition, no help. The real world.

  2. John, I have got to say that I agree with you on everything you said. I am as frustrated as anybody with the VA, but this is something that I saw as a positive step so I thought I'd share it. Medically the VA is a joke. I've had four hip surgeries (none of which the VA was competent enough to do) and they have given up on me. They set me up with pain management and they couldn't get me in for 5 months. Trust me, I'm right there with you. Let me know if there is any way I can help. Feel free to send me an email, or reply on the blog. Either way I'll get it. ~Steve