Veterans have Counseling Options

Veterans have Counseling Options

By Chris Mudd, Eagle Life Writer

An army combat veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder died after initiating a chase with Spokane county police.

The man called the police and informed them that he was heavily armed and wanted to be killed by the officers. KXLY news also reports that the man said if the deputies took to long to shoot him, he would start firing on civilians.

“I had spoken with the student several times,” said Lane Anderson of the EWU veterans resource center.

After a chase in the Spokane valley area, the man exited the vehicle and aimed the gun at himself.  Seeing movement when the victim adjusted his bulletproof vest, the officers opened fire.

From 2009 to 2011, there was a suicide increase of 44% according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Those statistics have remained mostly unchanged, and an estimated 22 veterans a day take their own life.

“We have access to counseling and psychological services, so when a student comes to us we can refer them to various agencies to help them with their specific problem,” Anderson said. “We’ve all been through quite a bit of self harm training, and we do the assessment in person with them.”

Statistics show that veterans who seek care within the VA health system are far less likely to do themselves harm.

“We just try to judge state of mind. If I’m concerned that you might harm yourself or someone else, I’m likely to not let you go. I’m more likely to get you to the right people,” Anderson said.

The VA Medical Center explained that a VA emergency room is open 24-7, and they have counselors available for long-term treatment.