Veteran's Health Care
posted: Sep. 13, 2016.
Veteran's Health Care
Taking care of our nation's veterans is an important responsibility. According to the Survey of Veteran Enrollees' Health and Reliance Upon VA, depending on demographic, between 15 and 35% of veterans feels as though most of their health care needs are not being met.
For Veterans, a significant need within health care that is not being met is suicide prevention. In 2000, veteran suicide rates were 20% higher than US civilians; now, suicide rates are over 60% higher among veterans. Another alarming statistic, that is being used to draw awareness to this health crisis, is that 22 Veterans commit suicide each day in the US.
When comparing veterans to the general public, it is important to know that suicide in the US is the 10th leading cause of death, that for every suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts, white men are the most likely group to commit suicide and firearms account for 50% of all suicides. All of these statistics are higher among vets. Though, female veterans commit suicide at nearly 6 times the rate of other US females.
Other factors associated with suicide in all populations are retirement, unemployment, poverty, divorce, depression, chronic pain, substance abuse, being exposed to domestic violence and sexual abuse as a child, homelessness and/or living alone; most of these factors are present at a much higher rate among veterans.
As Montanans, lets NOT be proud of the fact that We're Number 1 !!!...Unfortunately, Montana is #1 above all other states for suicide rate at 24.5/100,000.
So, what are some things that can be done?
-we can bring awareness to veteran suicide as a health crisis
-if you are in the position to, you could hire a vet
-reduce the stigma of counseling and mental health therapy; https://www.psychologytoday.com/ is a good resource for finding and choosing among professionals
-acknowledge that a main reason for unmet veteran health care needs is access. Often it is a long drive for health care in Montana for anyone, especially for veterans trying to make it to a VA health care facility.
The Veteran's Choice Program may help veterans find the care they need when access to VA health care is difficult.
To find out if you are eligible and for details about the veterans choice program http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/
The doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic are registered providers with the Veteran's Choice Program. Feel free to talk to your doctor about chronic pain or any other concern; they will help you find the right direction for the services that you need.
Call for an appointment, 406-551-2177