Veterans represent one of the most under-insured groups in the society of the United States. The issue is significantly complicated by the fact that veterans have a higher chance of facing various health problems, including both mental and physical health. Therefore, it may be vital to address the issue of healthcare accessibility for veterans on a national level. Moreover, insufficient healthcare provision and lack of accessibility may serve as a considerable predictor of higher suicide rates among veterans. The Kendal Regional Hospital receives a significant portion of the workload as a consequence of the issues mentioned above. Medical facilities are frequently compelled to deal with the results of low healthcare accessibility and provide the necessary psychological help for veterans. Hence, addressing these issues and introducing a timely response may be beneficial for both the veterans and the medical facilities.
Veteran Suicide Preventions
As already mentioned, a combination of unfair treatment towards veterans and possible psychological trauma received during duty results in high suicide rates. Recent research has shown that veterans represent approximately 20% of 30,000 suicides committed annually in the United States (Hendin, 2017). Such a high proportion may indicate that there is a large number of mental and emotional problems in the groups that need to be considered and addressed. It may be necessary to introduce new frameworks and adjust existing mechanisms in order to provide adequate and comprehensive healthcare services to veterans.
The veteran peer suicide prevention article investigates the issue and aims to provide a practical community-based model designed to prevent veteran suicide. The article relies on qualitative data represented by interviews conducted with seventeen participants. Respondents were divided into three groups in order to assess possible suicide premises better. Beehler (2021, p. 5) states that “the sample included veteran peers, non-peers, program managers, and community stakeholders.” Nine essential components, which may be used to mitigate suicide risks among veterans, were determined. These components include supportive structure, clear identification of social roles, efficient peers, community engagement, healthy relationships, social connections, and overall veteran well-being (Vyas et al., 2017). It may be possible to significantly decrease the probability of veteran suicide by maintaining these elements. Overall, the provided community-based model is highly effective and should be implemented on a national level.
Veteran Healthcare Accessibility Issues
There are approximately 10 million veterans in the United States (Hendin, 2017). In most cases, veterans have significant mental or physical health problems, which require high-quality care and treatment. Therefore, it may be challenging for the veterans’ health administration to provide sufficient healthcare services to all veterans in the context of limited resources and budget. As modern technology develops, it introduces numerous opportunities for optimization of the healthcare system administration. Moreover, digital technologies may significantly contribute to the improvement of veteran healthcare accessibility. Recent studies have shown that the veterans’ choice program establishes essential enhancements in terms of access to care (Cheney et al., 2018). Nonetheless, there may be a number of barriers that prevent straightforward accessibility with minimal risks.
Another recent research utilized a wide variety of methods in order to identify possible barriers faced by veterans when using mental healthcare services. It was found that there are at least five dimensions, which have a considerable impact on perceived accessibility (Cheney et al., 2018). First, veterans may be concerned about the opinions of their colleagues as seeking help in the mental care system may be viewed as a sign of weakness. Second, as already mentioned, there are essential financial barriers related to insufficient insurance and pensions. Another critical barrier is a lack of confidence in the veterans’ affairs healthcare system. Finally, veterans may not reach a medical facility due to privacy concerns and abuse of services.
As the above-mentioned issues impact millions of people and are considered on a national level, there are numerous dimensions in which they can be addressed. There is a wide variety of methods and strategies that are broadly utilized in order to mitigate the adverse effects of veterans’ healthcare problems. However, further development may be required to introduce a comprehensive methodology. Existing strategies designed to prevent veteran suicide include promoting connectedness, improving access to suicide-related mental care, and focusing on the most vulnerable groups. Implementing digital technology in the process of identification of people in need and providing preliminary care may significantly improve accessibility. Furthermore, introducing community-based activities may also decrease the risks of suicide. Nonetheless, the implementation of these techniques involves additional financial costs, which may not be maintained with the current budget of the Kendal Regional Hospital.
Even though there is a significant number of programs in the United States, which are designed to maintain high-quality care for veterans, they frequently receive insufficient help and represent one of the most vulnerable groups. It may be necessary not only to utilize modern technology in order to make mental care services more accessible but also to address the interrelation between the veterans and society. Communication and relationships play a considerable role in suicide prevention, and hence, it may be beneficial to implement frameworks, which allow medical facilities to maintain these relationships.
Beehler, S., LoFaro, C., Kreisel, C., Dorsey Holliman, B., & Mohatt, N. V. (2021). Veteran peer suicide prevention: A community‐based peer prevention model. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 51(2), 358–367.
Cheney, A. M., Koenig, C. J., Miller, C. J., Zamora, K., Wright, P., Stanley, R., Fortney, J., Burgess, J. F., & Pyne, J. M. (2018). Veteran-centered barriers to VA mental healthcare services use. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1).
Hendin, H. (2017). Healing the hidden wounds of war. Handbook of Military and Veteran Suicide, 166–177.
Vyas, B. B., Brown, L. M., Dosa, D., & Elmore, D. L. (2017). Managing suicide in the older veteran. Handbook of Military and Veteran Suicide, 201–212.