The United States has made life-saving progress on crisis support for veterans. Now other suicide prevention services need help. Progress made by the VA could provide a blueprint for improving suicide prevention services for all Americans.
Researchers have made great progress capturing the consequences of coping with injuries sustained in the theater of war, but the emerging picture is shadowed in grays. A series of recent findings presents a bleak portrait of the cost of modern war to service members, their families, and their health care providers.
Collaborative care has been an important part of Army efforts to reach out to those struggling with PTSD and depression. It has brought a science-based solution to an essential military problem and has helped thousands of men and women in uniform in ways that also nudge the larger mental health system toward greater effectiveness for all Americans.
While our research has taught us many things about suicide prevention we think additional research is critically needed in two areas, writes Rajeev Ramchand. The first is gun control. The second area is the quality of behavioral health care available to those who need it.
While many of these families fight for honor and respect from the DoD or support from the VA, the comfort that they need will not be provided by either institution, nor should it be. Rather, it is up to us—as their neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and students—to shower these families with the love and support they need and deserve, writes Rajeev Ramchand.
The military is experiencing a higher number of suicides than it has ever experienced at this time before. RAND research has a number of recommendations to prevent suicide among military personnel based.
Not only would the delivery of quality behavioral care prevent suicides, but it would also aid in the recovery of the nearly 20 percent of service members with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, writes Rajeev Ramchand.