Homelessness and mental illness
Thank you for drawing attention to the problem of homelessness and mental illness among U.S. veterans in your article Thursday, “25% of Homeless Are Veterans, Report Says.”
Homelessness is just one of the many negative impacts as policy and funding priorities overlook the mental health needs of our heroes. The problems are sobering: • One in every eight U.S. veterans (1.8 million) under the age of 65 does not have any health coverage.
• Each year, about 1,000 U.S. veterans commit suicide.
• More veterans from the Vietnam war have committed suicide than were killed in the war – more than 58,000.
• A Pentagon study in 2006 found that 35 percent of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have sought help for a mental health disorder. Many who experience symptoms of a mental health disorder do not seek help.
• About 50 percent of returning Reservists and National Guard members have reported symptoms of a mental disorder.
• Soldiers must wait 2 1?2 months for a mental health appointment at VA facilities.
• About 15 percent of all heart attack victims are people with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
• About 700,000 U.S. children have one or more parent who is deployed and must cope with the stress of that deployment. These children also are at risk and many need community-based services.
As the experts in your column indicated, there could be a surge of demand for mental health services building on the battlefield and at home. The mental health toll from this war is enormous and we are feeling it in Colorado. We should make every day Veterans Day and reach out to our friends and neighbors who have served valiantly. It’s time to help our heroes and support them when they return home.
We need to fund mental health treatment adequately, cut the red tape, and integrate these services with general health services to provide these heroes with the care that they deserve. The VA system can’t do it alone. We need localized and community-based services in every corner of Colorado and in every state. We should urge our U.S. Senators to support Senate Bill 31, which will help the community mental health system provide adequate care to these soldiers in their hometowns. We should urge state and local leaders to support similar initiatives across Colorado. This mission will not be accomplished until these soldiers and their families receive proper assistance.
This letter has not been edited.
George, I should have told you not to say that it's for the children. Most of the Far Right posters don't believe in children.Posted by Truth on November 18, 2007 09:12 PM
Have you received your "approved" registration status yet? Or are we just left out here on the old web-page format until the RMN runs it off into the archives, in favor of the "new and improved" site that the Grand Panjandrum was blurbing about Saturday?
I wonder how many of us who don't support the Right-wingnut positions will be "approved", and/or "registered", to post; since most of the Letters here seem to have no response at all, on THIS site anyway. And I'm somewhat surprised at that, the topics being particularly favorable to responses from those of us who support reason, judgment, and intelligent discussion, over political "talking-points" and "soundbites" that is.
Anyway, hope all is well with you - and with those others who don't show up on this version. The site I saw back on Thursday was both readable and had decent type face in the posting box. Just goes to show, I guess. But, show what (?), that's another kettle of fish. Wonder how much the "subscription" we have to take out is going to cost, seeing as how the News itself is really reduced to not much more than an advertising throw-away with some comic pages lately. (And never mind the matter of delivery around 9:00 AM, or later.)
But, that's "off topic", which I guess is now to be banned also. Freedom of the Press, on the Internet, by way of "subscription", and Freedom of Speech, and exchange of ideas, by way of "approved registration". Interesting, to say the least. Wonder what old John Peter Zenger would have to say today.Posted by Old Grouch on November 19, 2007 11:30 AM
Old Grouch, I missed the blurb you referred to so I am completely in the dark about what is going on. I was hoping that we finally convinced everyone that we were right all along and so they decided just to leave the forum to us. As with the rest of life, I'll just have to wait to see what happens. I found out some time back that planning for the future can sometimes be as useless as planning for the past. Somebody, somewhere, seems to be making my plans for me, or should I say upsetting my plans.
Do you know how to get rid of those pesky ads that cover parts of the letters? I've tried spraying my monitor with Raid but they seem resistant to it.
Whatever the future of this forums holds, I hope there will be more letters like the one from George DelGrosso, although I must confess that I have done nothing to implement his suggestions. One nice thing about old age is that you can blame it for most anything. Otherwise, it's just for old people.Posted by Truth on November 21, 2007 11:04 AM