VA Leadership Speaks at Annual DOD, VA Suicide Prevention Conference

Earlier today, Secretary Shinseki and Undersecretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel joined VA’s health care leaders at the Annual DOD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C. The three-day long conference brings in key leaders to collaborate on some of the most pressing mental health issues affecting active duty troops and Veterans.

This year’s theme, Back to Basics, “emphasizes the value of and appreciation for good order, disciplined practices, strong clinical skills and service accountability.”

I compiled a few tweets from today’s remarks featuring Secretary Shinseki. Check them out below.


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10 Comments to “VA Leadership Speaks at Annual DOD, VA Suicide Prevention Conference”

  1. Joe Palmer says:

    There is too little concern exhibited by VSO’s when it comes to this and other issues affecting veterans of all generations.

  2. Bob Cass says:

    While the VA has been recruiting more mental health workers there is now a huge vacuum in availability of those experienced who are now in teaching mode. The Trainees will be moved almost yearly. One with PTSD will see it as abandonment and get no treatment. Then there is the trick of trying to fill that emptiness. In life there are changes but changing a therapist on a yearly basis is not healthy. Then there is the recording of the session for training purposes. At least they ask. But a patient would usually want privacy to start. Recording them could add to the PTSD. Trying to get into a Doctor/Patient relationship is not happening. For the amount of time it takes to have a decent session there are many bad thoughts. While one says he or she is fine it’s a total war going on in the brain.

  3. Philip R. Davenport, Jr. ( Dickey ) says:

    for six years I’ve sought help for a sudden breakdown from PTSD, I was suicidal as a matter of fact one year after my return from Vietnam I shot myself in the chest, treated at VA records lost since then. There is the thing of the bullet which is still there. My point everything gets lost, except what the VA wants. In 2003 I began self medicating howevere my medication was alcohol. I finally had to do something for I had gone 20+ years sober with the unexplained return of drinking. I went into the VA on May 1st, 2006, this is when my problems began. The only thing bad about the computer is who has access well that’s where my troubles began. Things have been removed from my chart, dates, places which affect my disability status. Besides being overmedicated in Biloxi, I suffered a MI, those records have never been sent to anyone requesting my records. There’s a lot of good people working in the VA but the slime make it hard for them to really do any good. Imagine what one person reaking havoc with the computers can do. Like I said I went taking two prescribed medicines for BP, with documentated Panic attacks where I would see the Dr.’s they would check lab,cxr,ekg,and stabilize the BP send me home with the order to rest. Things would be fine. Like I said for the last six years I’ve lived off less than minimum wages, can’t work. The VA has labeled me as a trouble maker. I haven’t even scratched the surfice.It’s the freeloaders that make it difficult for the Veterans with real problems. What I write is the truth, the good too scared to speak up or too overworked to take time to notice. I can prove everything I write today with volumes more. They didn’t kill me in May and God has promised to let me live to see it through especially for the ones coming.
    “You have never lived;
    Till you’ve almost died;
    For those that fought for it;
    Life has a flavor;
    The protected will never know: author unknown

    Philip R. Davenport, Jr. ( Dickey )
    Combat Veteran of Vietnam

  4. rob middleton says:

    to prevent veterans from comitting suicide first establish benefit package from social security and va. veterans rated over 70% should not be denied social security benefits. that helps with more finacial stability for the veteran. loss of income usually is the bttom line. next, don’t reduce the benefit rating over, you take a veterans benefits again effects the finacial stability plus the length of time it has been taking for claims to be process is sick, and unsatisfactory. you took benefits from me in a matter of a few months and i have been waiting for over two years for benefits to be restored and one year to hear back from the board of veterans appelas, yet you seem so concerned about why. don’t ask questions do more to show support, reform the laws that veterans have veterans being reduced in benefits after being rated unemployable. if a veteran is 70% he should never be reduced. these are my personal issues and i know i am not the only one.

    • rc says:

      I have a question? Why when a veteran is rated over 70% from the VA does it only take social security 6mths to review the evidence and award 100% unemployability SS dissability benefits, yet it takes the VA years and years to process the same claim for unemployability. That makes not sense to me.

      • Brad Jones says:

        Better yet, why are some VISNs easier to get ratings and others are harder to get ratings and a lot of the time, they will reduce ratings. Don’t miss an appointment in some of these VISNs because they will reduce your rating.

  5. rob middleton says:

    stop trying to talk about what to do and do more…. suicide prevention would not be a problem if the veteran did not have to fight the country they defend for timely benefits. it is amazing that actors, entertainers and athletes get better contracts than the people that defend the world. we give our lives and get less than mediocre benefits and denied benefits.. prescriptions from “generic pharmacies”. the lack of more military doctors at veteran hospitals… understand that civillian doctors do not know the full realm of the military experience and sometimes their diagnosis proves it. it gets frustrating trying to describe the difference between military stress and civilian stress or anxiety to someone who never served .

  6. Brad Jones says:

    We have waiting lines of suicidal vets trying to get help at VA Centers across America and yet they are threatening to close more and send the veterans to CBOCs for their care. Who knows what a vet goes through but a vet? STOP DISMANTLING VA CARE. Waiting lines for care are causing kids to commit suicide, just look what happened in St. Cloud, Minnesota and Custer, SD… One suicide and one suicide by cop because they couldn’t get in the doors of the VA to get the PTSD treatment they needed. We have the space available if you keep the doors open and stop playing political games with our veterans.

  7. Not change the subject but I would like to know if there are any Vietnam Veterans out there that have pheriphal polyneuopathy and do not have diabetes. I served in Vietnam 1968-1969, and have had is disease since the late 70′s. I have filed for CRSC only to be turned down over and over again. They say I can’t have this for such a long length of time or that I should have diabetes. And like many others most of my medical military records were lost!! So if anyone reads this and has this problem, please contact me at crapps@att.net. I would appreciate any advise and words of wisdom.

  8. I never realized how common suicide and PTSD was while I was in the Army. It wasn’t really until I got out of the military that I witnessed a growing number of cases and really saw the affects of it. I’m a proud sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project, Dog Bless You and other organizations aimed at helping veterans deal with PTSD.