#Male and #female #veterans differ in a number of important ways — including the narratives reasons behind their #suicidalideation and attempts.
A recent study published in “Social Science & Medicine” honed in on what drives the #mentalhealthissues of #veterans based on gender and how those specific drives might be used to help make #mentalhealthtreatment more effective. As the rate of suicides increases — specifically among #female #veterans — understanding the narratives behind suicidal thoughts and attempts among #veterans could help turn or mitigate the upward trend.
The study’s researchers interviewed 50 #veterans — 25 #women, 25 #men — who made a #suicide attempt in the prior six months. #Veterans were recruited from #VeteransHealthAdministration (VHA) healthcare facilities across the U.S. Each hour-long interview examined participants’ experiences with military service, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and healthcare following their attempt.
Throughout the interviews, different keywords presented themselves across the #male versus #female discussions. #Female #veterans described themselves as “shameful,” “tainted,” and “worthless.” #Male #veterans discussed becoming overwhelmed, and recalled thinking, “it just wasn’t worth it,” “I’ve had enough,” and “screw this.”
Both #male and #female #veterans discussed the primary themes of self-concept, social power, relationships, coping, and #stress — but in notably different ways.
So how can #mentalhealthtreatment and programs leverage these different narratives to make treatment more effective?
“#Women #veterans may benefit from methods to increase self-worth through positive social relationships, while men #veterans may benefit from methods that increase their sense of purpose in life and help them achieve their ideal selves through successful experiences,” the study reads.
Last month, House and Senate lawmakers took major steps to advance two packages of bills aimed at preventing #veteran #suicide.
But time is running out for Congress to pass any significant legislation this year. A limited number of legislative days remain on the calendars for each chamber as a major election looms and this session of Congress comes to a close with major legislation left undone, including finalizing the National Defense Authorization Act and any additional #pandemic relief efforts. If any of the bills don’t pass by the end of 2020, lawmakers will have to reintroduce them in the next session of Congress and start the process again.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
The Department of Defense’s Annual #Suicide Report, released at the beginning of October, revealed similar unwavering trends in #suicide among active-duty troops.
For more information on potential warning signs of #suicide, click here.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the #VeteranCrisisLine 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (select option 1 for a VA staff member). #Veterans, service members or their families also can text 838255 or go to veteranscrisisline.net.