Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Talking Veterans Down From Despair

I saw this article in today's New York Times and thought it worth sharing. According to the article, of America's 25 million veterans, 18 commit suicide every day. I have no idea what the statistic for Canada would be. It would be worth finding out. MP+

Talking Veterans Down From Despair


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Nancy Nosewicz was busy fielding calls at the new national veterans hot line on a recent afternoon when someone from the Department of Veterans Affairs in Topeka, Kan., phoned. He had a 55-year-old Army veteran from the Northwest on the line who had called to complain about his benefits, but now the guy, drunk and crying, was talking about not wanting to live. Could Ms. Nosewicz pick up?

In a slurred voice, heavy from weeping, the veteran, named Robert, told her that he was homeless and wanted to “just lay down in the river and never get up.”

Ms. Nosewicz, a social worker, listened. Then in a voice firm and comforting like a big sister, she said: “We don’t want you to either. Today we’re not thinking about the alcohol or the housing, Robert. Today it’s about keeping you safe.”

Read the whole article

1 comment:

styler said...

It took a huge fight to keep that VA center open. Two or three years ago during a great merging of Federal facilities it was on the chopping block. Apparently our VA was just too expensive and because to certain political theories money is more important than services or, dare I say it, obligations it looked ripe for the cutting. Happily, the Canadaigua VA was able to demonstrate both the need and effectiveness of their particular mental health programs. And not just to Iraq and Afganistan vets but in continuance to WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War veterans that they are serving.

Still, it was mindboggling that the administration would consider downsizing the VA in the middle of wars that are creating a greater percentage of wounded survivors needing care than any of our previous conflicts. The disconnect between theory and reality becomes stark in such instances.

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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