Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your Tax Dollars at Work - 5/21/09

I was in the VA Clinic recently and a stack of brochures caught my eye. They were tri-fold, multi-colored on glossy paper. My first thought was that they must have cost a fortune since obviously thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands were printed. Here is the brochure.

I then imagined that there must have been a breakthrough in the field of suicide prevention in the years since I had manned a hot-line and these pamphlets were essential to get the word out. Interested, I picked up the brochure and read.

RECOGNIZE THE SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS

1. Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
2. Looking for ways to kill yourself
3. Talking about death, dying or suicide
4. Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Wow! What Algonquin Round Table came up with this information? This is groundbreaking stuff that really needs to be distributed, regardless of the cost to the taxpayer. When VA funding is so limited that they can't prescribe medications that are critically needed to treat vets, providing this information is obviously a higher priority. Who would have guessed that the above could lead to suicide? Glad we now know. "I am thinking about killing myself, what could a possible outcome be?"

But the pamphlet continued:

ADDITIONAL WARNING SIGNS MAY INCLUDE

1. Hopelessness, feeling like there's no way out
2. Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings
3. Feeling there is no reason to live
4. Rage or anger
5. Engaging in risky activities without thinking
6. Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
7. Withdrawing from family and friends

Oh, now I get it. Suicide stems from a negative mental outlook on life. Just think how many lives could have been saved if we had only known. So, conversely, happy people are not a suicide risk. We can thank the federal government for clearing that up for us. A million dollars well spent. And that is just the printing. It is impossible to gauge the research and funded studies that went into creating this document.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Touche' Mr. Ramblings!!! I couldn't agree more. If all the money spent on what I would call "obvious propaganda" was used for the myriad of more worthwhile causes we would all be in better stead. I have oftened wondered how many gazillions of dollars worth of brochures, coupons, prospectus (don't get me started on this one) that never get glanced at, picked up or even recycled at least, are produced.

Your blog should be the obvious....good insight on many levels! co

Go Figure said...

Whale: I believe that is the job description for attorneys. No Ha. Want to read attorney jokes? Look in the yellow pages. Ha.

Shyam said...

I love me a sarcastic post...

Songwraith said...

Ah...the government brain trust in action again. No doubt there were promotions awarded and points earned in the column of "what are you doing for suicide prevention?"

g-man said...

I used to work in a Prison, and have had many many hours of suicide prevention. Two very important indicators not mentioned so far is...

Be extra watchful of people during a 'Holiday'....Holidays are a BITCH to the depressed and lonely.

Secondly, be really on the alert if a depressed or morose being is suddenly 'cheerful' and seems abnormally happy, AND they start giving away personal property.

Hope to see you next Friday Brother...G

Anonymous said...

This is exactly how we feel at work when they release the monthly magazine at work. No raises this year but here is a 30 page beautiful magazine that is dropped on every employee's desk to enjoy displaying how our top executives get to party in each country. Such a joy. Love ya Carly

raymond pert said...

I guess I have to wonder if prompt, red tape-free medical for vets might decrease the likelihood that they might:

1. Think about hurting or killing themselves
2. Look for ways to kill themselves.
3. Talk about death, dying or suicide
4. Engage in self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

The vets I work with regularly in my work are driven to 1-4 most often by the hoops they have jump through at the VA.

Often this run around makes them feel:

1. Hopelessness, feeling like there's no way out
2. Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings
3. There is no reason to live
4. Rage or anger
5. Like engaging in risky activities without thinking
6. Like increasing alcohol or drug abuse
7. Withdrawing from family and friends (and college courses).

myrtle beached whale said...

Exactly. I deal with the VA as a patient and it is frustrating.