The Connecticut Mirror (9/25, Radelat) introduces the alarming trend of veteran suicide through personal stories. The article goes on to cite 22 national veteran suicides daily, with concerns of under-reporting due to stigmatization. Though Connecticut has one of the lowest rates at 28.8 per 100,000, compared to the national rate of 35.9, its veterans still commit suicide twice as frequently as non-veterans.
The article cites criticisms of VA healthcare, including mental healthcare’s wait times and the cycling of counselors. A VA audit in May found average wait times of four days at West Haven, 28 days at Waterbury, and 33 at Winsted. Maureen Pasko, suicide prevention coordinator with the West Haven VA hospital, said caregivers “only capture 50% of what is going.”
The article closes citing complaints of other suicide victims’ families and calls for overhaul of the VA healthcare system.
— “SUICIDE BY VETERANS REMAINS A DAUNTING PROBLEM AS VA STRUGGLES TO IMPROVE CARE,” Ana Radelat, Connecticut Mirror, September 24, 2014.