EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A veteran suicide crisis is underway across the country, including Texas. Experts say that many different factors contribute to suicide rates.
Derrick Lozzio, a veteran who has the peer support of Catch 22 in El Paso, said he had recently seen with his own eyes the rise in the number of veteran suicides,
“We have too many of our siblings committing suicide and I think there is not enough effort to deal with this crisis. I have seen an increase in suicide [through the] news regarding suicide and through my relationships. And while El Paso lags behind the rest of the county with the suicide rate, it still happens, it’s a serious problem.
According to Lozzio, several factors play a role in the current crisis, including the stigma that accompanies asking for help.
“Mental health is the primary factor, especially among active duty members. Veterans and the military are trained to do a job and not ask for help. It’s something inside of us that makes us think it’s weak if you ask for help. This stigma is something we have to fight.
According to Dr. Sharmane Delgado Payne – the clinic director at the Steven A Cohen Military Families Clinic, there has been a slight increase in anxiety, depression and suicide. In fact, she says 22 veterans kill themselves every day.
A number up from 17 per day in 2019. In addition, according to the latest data, the suicide rate of veterans is more than 50% higher than that of non-veterans and young soldiers commit suicide twice as much. faster than their civilians. peers.
Lozzio is also contributing to a combination of other factors, including the isolation experienced by veterans during Covid shutdowns. He also underlined the “political atmosphere” and the “tragedy with Afghanistan”.
Additionally, Lozzio said it is often difficult for veterans to understand what they went through and what they saw,
“The fight itself. The destruction of war. Seeing your injured boyfriend is really difficult. When you are in this situation, you don’t have time to really deal with it, you have to keep working. There’s no time to process anything until they leave the military, so you start to think back to what you’ve seen. The very nature of being in the military, of being away from home and family. You go through extensive training, you are always ready to do the job the country asks you to do, and when you leave the military there is no downgrade. There is no non-training. I myself left the service in 1982 and still look back on what I saw and what I did. There is no way to unlearn.
Lozzio says many suffer from having a sense of purpose when they leave the military saying things in the civilian world don’t work with the same type of structure or attention to detail. Often, he says, it seems that many civilian businesses are putting profit before people.
Sense of purpose is one of the hard things, in the military you are trained to do a job as safe as possible, whether you drive a vehicle that you have learned to make sure the vehicle is in the best possible condition. , when you leave the military and enter the civilian sector but a lot of businesses in civilian life their inferior life is to make a profit and sometimes its profit on people.
Lozzio and Dr Payne want to remind people that there is help, adding that money is not an issue.
“Here at the Cohen Clinic, your finances are never an issue. We will treat any veteran or family member who walks through the door, whether they have the ability to pay or not.
“If you are in an immediate crisis, please call the Veterans Hotline. If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone. There are people like me who will listen, we will not judge, and we will help you get the resources you need. Suicide is a permanent response to a temporary problem. There are ways to stop suicide “
Veterans Support Group Catch 22: 915-206-9185
Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic – 915-320-1390
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