Last year, a record-breaking 245 soldiers committed suicide. The Army seems on track to surpass that number this year, as 145 soldiers have taken their lives in the first half of 2010.
Below are some changes we should be fighting for to help our soldiers deal with their mental illnesses after coming home from war. Let's save their lives as they have saved ours!
-All soldiers must undergo a mental health evaluation once coming back to the states from deployment and every 6 months after that until their contract is up with the military.
-All soldiers who are deployed must undergo a mental health evaluation every 6 months. If a soldier has a mental health condition while deployed he must be seen by a therapist while overseas and upon returning home he must continue therapy until he is released by the therapist and VA.
-All soldiers who are diagnosed with PTSD or any other mental illness (who receive disability benefits for their illness) must receive therapy from either the VA or a therapist of their choice at the VA's expense (or refer to the" Give An Hour" nonprofit organization.) Depending on the rating of the soldiers mental illness should be a factor on how many times a month the soldier should have to see their therapist.
-Every 60 days the soldier must send in a form stating they are receiving therapy, or the soldier will not receive their benefits.
-It will be at the therapist and the VA's discretion to decide if the soldiers therapy sessions can be reduced, or if the soldier no longer needs therapy.
These five changes could change a soldiers life. The more people who stand behind "A Soldiers Silent Cry" the better chance our soldiers have of receiving the help they deserve. If you know a soldier who suffers from a mental illness, or have lost a family member or friend from suicide, you know the pain and loss we feel. You understand why we have to get the VA to change their ways. Please help us fight for our heroes!
The man in the picture is my brother. Nicholas Larson. He is a son, brother, husband, father and friend. He was diagnosed with PTSD and not treated properly. May 12, 2010 he took his life. Leaving behind a son and wife. He will be missed by many.
Here are some links you can look at to show you the severity of PTSD in soldiers and why we should be fighting for a change!
The VA does not offer enough mental health care for our soldiers. With the changes I have discussed our soldiers will be able to get back to their normal lives. We need to make a stop to this suicide epidemic among our soldiers and save them like they have saved us. Help us, help them!