Mental Health Etcetera and notes
Key statistics and facts--Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
Mental Health Is the second largest area of illness after orthopedic problems,
Nearly one in five, [thirty thousand], soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan have posttraumatic stress disorder or depression with only about half of that number actually seeking treatment.
Approximately nineteen percent of returning service members report that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed, and seven percent of service members report both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.
45 percent of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, including many eho report high rates of PTSD.
Approximately 70 percent of homeless veterans suffer from substance abuse problems.
A suicide prevention hotline started by the VA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in July 2007 has served 22,000 and prevented 1,221 veterans from taking their lives in the first year of operation.
Source: National Council Magazine, Vol. 3 July 2008
No suicide attempt should be dismissed or treated lightly
Warning Signs of Someone Considering Suicide: Several of these symptoms may signal a need for help: Verbal Suicide Threats, Expressions of Hopelessness and helplessness, Previous suicide attempts, Depression, Risk-taking behavior, Personality changes,
What to do if you Think Someone is Suicidal: Trust your instincts, Talk with the person about your concerns, Ask direct questions without being judgmental, Do not swear to secrecy, Do not act shocked, Get professional help, Do not leave the person alone
Youth suicides on the rise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was an eighteen percent increase in suicide rates under age 19 in 2004, and this trend persisted in 2005. Some experts believe the increase may be due to the reluctance of doctors to prescribe antidepressants to teens because of an advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003 that linked the drugs to an increased risk of suicide or suicide-related behaviors in children and teens. Since this warning and antidepressant drugs’label revisions, there has been a 20 percent decline in the drugs’ use.
Doctors could dramatically decrease the number of suicides by helping to restrict at-risk patients’ access to firearms and other highly lethal ways of committing suicide, Harvard researchers say. Among Americans, guns are used in more than half of all completed suicides, and studies estimate estimate that one-third to four-fifths of all suicide attempts are impulsive. Because having a gun in the home is associated with a two to ten times increased risk of suicide compared to homes without guns, researchers say talking to family members about removing guns or otherwise lethal means from the patient’s environment may prevent many suicides.
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