by: Eric M. Kussin

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01 August 2018

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How Our System Is Failing Veterans and Civilians

I was sent this article by a close friend today. It was published in americanmilitarynews.com. The vet who lost his life wasn’t a celeb…didn’t have a TV show…wasn’t in the public eye, so it wasn’t covered in the same way by our mainstream media as some of the recent suicides we’ve learned abt.
 
Those of us who care immensely abt this topic – advocates, you folks who read these posts, daily – we fight SO hard to encourage ppl to ASK for help…that hearing abt someone who DID ask for help being turned away is heartbreaking & infuriating.
 
Throughout the last 9 months I’ve gotten closer w friends who have served…& have met many more members of the military – active duty & retired.
 
One of the main issues w the VA, from what they tell me is: to get treated you need to use very specific language in explaining your symptoms, thus “justifying” your treatment/being admitted, etc. These friends have told me they’ve had to learn from others who’ve gone & been turned away, what words work, & what words don’t.
 
As someone who launched an organization named We’re All A Little “Crazy” & talks abt #SameHere🤙 & how we all go through challenges, the above accounts from these friends make me sick.
 
Yes this sounds like a VA problem, & yes I know there are way more problems w the VA than the above…however, as a society – one with systems in place that are supposed to help ppl – we need to get away from this politically correct/red tape/bureaucratic BS that defines & tells US what is right/wrong when it comes to how we all SHOULD communicate abt our own problems.
 
It’s time we woke up & realized some ppl are going to say they feel fucked up. Some ppl will say crazy. Some will say they simply feel off. Who cares what they call it if they are crying for help – this is an EPIDEMIC. We might be affected by different things at different times, but feeling terrible is feeling terrible & when someone goes asking for help – their treatment should never be based on their communication hitting “5 out of 8” symptoms on a list. Descriptions & triggers are unique to the individual.

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