2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

The VA has released the latest update on the state of Veteran suicide in America. You can find it here. There is good news in the new report to show that the recent efforts from a variety of organizations are paying off. Several hopeful data points from this year’s report serve as anchors:

• 399 fewer Veterans died from suicide in 2019 than in 2018, reflecting the lowest raw count of Veteran suicides since 2007.

• From 2005 to 2018, identified Veteran suicides increased on average by 48 deaths each year. A reduction of 399 suicides within one year is unprecedented, dating back to 2001.

• The single-year decrease in the adjusted suicide rate for Veterans from 2018 to 2019 (7%) was larger than any observed for Veterans from 2001 through 2018. Further, the Veteran rate of decrease (7.2%) exceeded by four
times the non-Veteran population decrease (1.8%) from 2018 to 2019.

• There was a nearly 13% one-year rate (unadjusted rate) decrease for female Veterans, which represents the largest rate decrease for Women Veterans in 17 years.

• COVID-19-related data continues to emerge and clarify, but data thus far do not indicate an increase in Veteran suicide-related behaviors.

About Once A Soldier: Starting in 2017, our mission is to limit the scars of Veteran suicide. We offer prevention services and postvention services. We reach a national audience and our goal is to become the preferred channel for those who want to help Veteran families who need our services. With 17 Veteran suicides a day in 2021, we believe our two niche services will make a difference to each family and to our nation.

What Is The Mission Daybreak Contest?

What Is The Mission Daybreak Contest?

Mission Daybreak is a contest that is open to the public and it is an attempt to get great new ideas in how to stop the national crisis that is Veteran suicide. Mission Daybreak is part of VA’s 10-year strategy to end Veteran suicide through a comprehensive, public health approach. There is $20 million worth of prize money handed out with nothing really coming back in return. A $20 million grand challenge to reduce Veteran suicides. It is the brainchild of The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Mission Daybreak is fostering solutions across a broad spectrum of focus areas. A diversity of solutions will only be possible if a diversity of solvers — including Veterans, researchers, technologists, advocates, clinicians, health innovators, and service members — answer the call to collaborate and share their expertise.

The contest really has no clear goal or deliverable, other than handing out money to winning ideas and then handing out more money for those ideas to be developed. As we said in another post found here, all of them are big money wasters and they do what the VA does best: mess up Veterans. As you can see on the link, they all only help to identify at-risk Veterans. Nothing is done to solve the problem. The only positive we see from the Mission Daybreak contest is that at least the just as useless but more cuddly service dogs did not receive any useless money. 

 

Here’s More On Mission Daybreak Contest

Mission Daybreak contest’s Phase 1 awarded $8.5 million: 30 finalists each received $250,000 and advance to the Phase 2 accelerator, where they will gain exclusive access to tailored resources. An additional 10 teams each received a Promise Award of $100,000.

Mission Daybreak contest’s Phase 2 will award $11.5 million: Two first-place winners will each receive $3 million, three second-place winners will each receive $1 million, and five third-place winners will each receive $500,000.

Mission Daybreak is a two-phase grand contest. Phase 1 was open to all eligible solvers — including Veterans, researchers, technologists, advocates, clinicians, health innovators, and service members — to submit detailed concepts. The winners were all bad ideas that do nothing to address the root cause of Veteran suicide which is 

Mission Daybreak Contest Phase 1 criteria

Veteran-centered design
Extent to which the concept reflects the true lived experience of Veterans and clearly articulates the population it is intended to serve. Extent to which the concept promotes equity by designing for the unique circumstances of a specific population.

Impact
Extent to which the concept outlines where it will operate and how it will sustainably reduce Veteran suicides.

Innovation
Extent to which the concept demonstrates a level of advancement beyond established scientific methods, technology, and current practices. Extent to which the concept represents a range of cross-disciplinary expertise.

Evidence-based
Extent to which the concept is grounded in evidence-based or evidence-informed research and incorporates further evidence development in future plans.

Scalability
Extent to which the concept is able to complement, build off of, or integrate into existing VA systems and can sustainably grow to make a significant impact on the Veteran population.

Ethical approach
Extent to which the concept takes into account any ethical considerations applicable to its approach, including ethical data collection practices, safe messaging practices, and privacy concerns.

 

 

Mission Daybreak Contest Phase 2 criteria

Veteran-centered design
Extent to which the solution will be accessible to the Veteran population it is intended to serve.

Impact
Extent to which the refined solution has the potential to significantly reduce suicides for its intended Veteran population.

Innovation
Extent to which the solution demonstrates a level of advancement beyond initial submission, established scientific methods, existing technologies, and current practices, and effectively uses challenge resources or feedback.

Development
Extent to which the refined solution’s timeline and development plan are thoroughly detailed, feasible, and actionable.

Scalability
Extent to which the solution’s testing and development plan complements, builds off of, or integrates into existing VA systems and can sustainably grow to impact the solution’s intended Veteran population.

Ethical approach
Extent to which the solution takes into account any additional ethical considerations raised in Phase 1.

 

 

About Once A Soldier: Starting in 2017, our mission is to limit the scars of Veteran suicide. We offer prevention services and postvention services. We reach a national audience and our goal is to become the preferred channel for those who want to help Veteran families who need our services. With 17 Veteran suicides a day in 2021, we believe our two niche services will make a difference to each family and to our nation.

Where Are Psilocybins Legal To Treat PTSD?

Where Are Psilocybins Legal To Treat PTSD?

Veteran Families Can Find Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Our mission is clearly on the side of postvention and to be there ASAP for the family left behind after a suicide. Many times they have witnessed the Veteran suicide or heard it. We urge families to research this micro-dosing information as an option to heal their Veterans as well as themselves.

Once A Soldier does not endorse any listed facilities but presents them as a resource for further investigation. A Google search with the terms “psychedelic treatment centers near me” will also provide similar results.

Find a Psycheledic Center Near You

Despite the huge therapeutic potential, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is not part of standard medical care yet. Self-medicating with psychedelics can produce undesired results, but despite that, more and more people feel disappointed with the efficacy of the current treatments and they turn to risky, but potentially more beneficial psychedelic-assisted therapy. Source

Just updated: this site will connect you a national listing of pyschotherapists with a vareity of educational backgrounds, specialties and locations.

Like our Veterans Suicide Rates by State, this ever-growing resource is a big part o four mission. Education after a Veteran suicide can help ease the scars for the family. We are proud to be that resource for them but want to reach more and more families. This is a new resource for Once A Soldier, and we will do our best to add more centers that fit our mission parameters when we can. Please check back often for updates.

Arizona

Despite Arizona’s strict drug laws and conservative political climate, the psilocybin decriminalization movement is gaining traction within the state’s borders. In both Tempe and Tucson, there are two major organizations fighting to decriminalize psychedelics.

Psychedelic Club of Phoenix

Arizona Psychedelics

Modern Spirit

California

For several years, California has been at the forefront of psychedelic policy reform. In 2019, Oakland became the first city in the country to decriminalize a wide variety of psychedelics, including psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca. “It’s time to take a health and science-oriented approach to drugs & step away from knee-jerk criminalization,” State Senator Scott Wiener tweeted on November 15, 2020. Psychedelics have medicinal value and should not be prohibited. As a result, when the Legislature reconvenes, we’ll try to make their use legal.”

Center of psychedelic studies and research

Psychedelic Therapy Center

Pacific Brain Health Center

Colorado

With this psilocybin vote, Denver is breaking new ground. Colorado and the Mile High City are poised to anchor an ongoing psychedelic revival, where once-maligned psychoactive substances are being championed as therapeutic treatments for illnesses including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, thanks to voter-approved legislation forcing police to relax enforcement of laws around psilocybin mushrooms.

Innate Path

Medicinal Mindfulness

Kathy Hawkins Counseling

Prati Group

Home

Enduring Love Therapy

New York

Despite the huge therapeutic potential, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is not part of standard medical care yet. Self-medicating with psychedelics can produce undesired results, but despite that, more and more people feel disappointed with the efficacy of the current treatments and they turn to risky, but potentially more beneficial psychedelic-assisted therapy. The goal of this guide is harm reduction for people, who decided to self-medicate, we don’t encourage possession or consumption of illicit substances even for therapeutic endeavors.

Field Trip Health

Psychedelic society of western NY

New York city psychedelic society

Center for Optimal Living

Nushama

Mindbloom

Georgia

In the state of Georiga, the future of psilocybin does not appear bright. In addition to a series of rigorous laws banning the selling and possession of “magic mushrooms,” the state is one of the few in the world to recognize psilocybin mushroom spores as controlled substances in their own right.

Emory University (Atlanta) researchers are looking into using psychedelic drugs as a possible treatment for major depressive disorder.

ONAC

Illinois

In the state of Illinois, psilocybin is highly illegal. Though Chicago officials have suggested and contemplated decriminalization within the city limits, these efforts have failed. Psilocybin is currently classified as a Schedule I controlled drug in both Chicago and the rest of Illinois.

Safer Illinois

Psychedelic safety support and integration in Chicago

Psychelics Are Also Know As

Psychedelics, also known as psychedelic drugs, hallucinogens, or hallucinogenic drugs are chemical substances that induce hallucinations and other sensory disturbances.

Psychedelic – relating to or denoting drugs that produce hallucinations and apparent expansion of consciousness. Psychedelics were originally called ‘Psychotomimetics’ by the scientific community (mimicking the effect of a psychotic state). In 1956, Humphry Osmond coined the term Psychedelic (‘Mind Manifesting’ in Greek) in a letter to writer Aldous Huxley.

Entheogen – a psychoactive substance that induces alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behaviofor the purposes of engendering spiritual development in sacred contexts.

Psilocybin – a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms.

DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) – a chemical substance that occurs in many plants and animals and which is both a derivative and a structural analog of tryptamine.[3] It can be consumed as a psychedelic drug and has historically been prepared by various cultures for ritual purposes as an entheogen. DMT has a rapid onset, intense effects, and a relatively short duration of action.

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) – also known colloquially as acid, is a hallucinogenic drug.Effects typically include altered thoughts, feelings, and awareness of one’s surroundings.

 

    About Once a Soldier

    Once a Soldier’s mission is to help the families after a soldier suicide. Most soldier suicides are performed by veterans who have lost touch with the VA and their families won’t be getting any financial help from the government at this critical time. Even when they do, the support is limited. We aspire to fill or close that gap especially when it comes to the heartbreak of paying funeral costs. But this post aspires to be a place where someone in need RIGHT NOW can get some help for themselves or for a loved one who’s thinking about suicide.

    Rise In Ketamine IV-Drip Therapy Requests

    Rise In Ketamine IV-Drip Therapy Requests

    Postvention Veteran Suicide Services Expanding Rapidly

    With 17 active duty and Veteran suicides every day, that leaves 17 families to deal with the emotional damage. As the VA continues to fumble for ways to prevent Veteran suicide, our nonprofit is moving forward with our postvention services. Older research suggested that only 6 people were affected by a suicide. This number hasn’t resonated with some researchers, however, who felt it underestimated the true burden of suicide grief. Thanks to Julie Cerel and her team of researchers have found that up to 135 people are affected to some degree by every person lost to suicide. That number includes all people who have known the deceased. More info on that can be found here. With that in mind, our Ketamine IV-drip therapy support is only going to rise in the years and decades to come.

    ketamin iv drip

    What Is Ketamine?

    Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause a person to feel detached from reality. Much of the ketamine sold on the street has been diverted from veterinarians’ offices. Ketamine’s chemical structure and mechanism of action are similar to those of PCP.

    Also known as special K, super K and vitamin k, among other slang terms, ketamine is manufactured as an injectable liquid. In illicit use ketamine is swallowed or evaporated to form a snortable powder. It is odorless and tasteless, so it can be added to beverages without being detected, and it induces amnesia. Because it has been used to commit sexual assaults due to its ability to sedate and incapacitate unsuspecting victims, ketamine is also considered to be a “date rape” drug.

    Ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. People who use the drug report sensations ranging from a pleasant feeling of floating to being separated from their bodies.

    How Does Ketamine Work?

    It’s not entirely clear how ketamine works, according to Harvard Medical College. Because it exerts an antidepressant effect through a new mechanism, ketamine may be able to help people successfully manage depression when other treatments have not worked.

    One likely target for ketamine is NMDA receptors in the brain. By binding to these receptors, ketamine appears to increase the amount of a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the spaces between neurons. Glutamate then activates connections in another receptor, called the AMPA receptor. Together, the initial blockade of NMDA receptors and activation of AMPA receptors lead to the release of other molecules that help neurons communicate with each other along new pathways. Known as synaptogenesis, this process likely affects mood, thought patterns, and cognition.

    Ketamine also may influence depression in other ways. For example, it might reduce signals involved in inflammation, which has been linked to mood disorders, or facilitate communication within specific areas in the brain. Most likely, ketamine works in several ways at the same time, many of which are being studied.

    What Types Of Ketamine Are In Use?

    Two main types of ketamine are used to treat major depression that hasn’t responded to two or more medications (treatment-resistant depression).

    Racemic ketamine, which is most often given as an infusion into the bloodstream. This is sometimes called intravenous, or IV, ketamine. It is a mixture of two mirror-image molecules: “R” and “S” ketamine. While it was approved decades ago as an anesthetic by the FDA, it is used off-label to treat depression.

    Esketamine (Spravato), which the FDA approved in March, is given as a nasal spray. It uses only the “S” molecule.

    Thus far, most research has been on ketamine infusions.

    The two forms of ketamine interact differently with receptors in the brain. The delivery of ketamine and the type given affect drug effectiveness and side effects. We don’t yet know which type is more effective or how much side effects may differ. Further research comparing effectiveness and side effects is needed.

    ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

    Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

    Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

    We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

    Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

    Once A Soldier Advocacy for Veteran Funeral Loan Bill

    Once A Soldier Advocacy for Veteran Funeral Loan Bill

    Our Bill Outline For New Funeral Services Loan

    Foot soldiers fightng for Veteran suicide postvention know that the strength of a Veteran family knows no bounds. Despite their sacrifice and paid-in-full status, paying the funeral expenses for an unexpected suicide is one challenge many can not meet. This bill outline is a critical step to fill this gap between the too-little, too-late Veterans’ Administration benefits and all or nothing standards of some funeral homes. Our local US Congressman John Rutherford, and his staff, continue to champion support needed for all American heroes. Their guidance will be critical to how far this bill can go.

    magic mental health mushroom

    Matt and Kristen Mahramus

    You can see real love between these two. Matt left behind Kristen and their two children.

    Veteran Funeral Loan Bill

    Fueled by PTSD, TBI, MST and more, Veteran suicides continue to rise. However, increased postvention support for the families has not. VA death benefits arrive too late and too many Veteran families can’t bury their Veterans with dignity. This modest guaranteed loan will meet that need and close this gap.

    Veteran Family Postvention Issue

    • VA death benefits offer no specialized support for suicide’s aftermath
    • Suicide victims typically leave behind no life insurance or savings
    • VA benefits end and leave the families without breadwinners

    Key Solutions

    • Congress must enact legislation to create program
    • Would provide up to $2,000 – $8,000 for post 9/11 Veteran suicide families
    • Would be paid directly to the funeral services providers

    Reasons to Believe

    • Recent COVID-19 funeral relief via FEMA proves it is possible
    • This solves our most immediate Veteran suicide postvention failure
    • The program would be limited in reach and scope  
    • VA death benefits, if any, would be directly applied to the loan balance

    For more information, contact

    Dave Barbush dave@onceasolider.org

    904477999

    # # #

    ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

    Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

    Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

    We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

    Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

    Links for More Information: