WSOCTV recent news story about veterans receiving treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caught my attention. You can watch it here. North Carolina Operation Recovery is a pilot program that assists veterans who are combating mental illness, mental disorders or have traumatic brain injures. The program focuses on both individuals that have current cases in the criminal justice system and those who are likely to become involved in the system. Operation Recovery seeks to provide treatment to veterans and, if appropriate, focus on treatment instead of incarceration. Here is the link to Operation Recovery and the link to the Veterans Treatment Court.
The story highlighted an alarming statistic that over 1 million American veterans are currently serving jail terms in our country. Equally troubling is the statistic that 18 veterans commit suicide every day. The New York Times highlighted the case of veteran Brad Eifert who ended up in jail after an armed confrontation with police that resulted from a suicide attempt. Access to care appears to be a central factor in all these cases. Suicide rates appear to be higher for men ranging from 18-29 that served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number drops significantly for those who had access to VA health care.
These stories are incredibly alarming. Organizations like North Carolina Operation Recovery certainly seem important in light of these statistics.
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