Vietnam-era veteran Vic Montgomery III, author of “Healing Suicidal Veterans,” spoke with Truthout’s Robert Corsini about the growing tsunami of veterans’ mental health needs. A specialist in crisis intervention and addiction therapy, Montgomery outlined the urgent need to address this crisis that he witnesses as a counselor first hand.
The stress of multiple deployments and overall combat have led to a 26 percent increase in suicides, mostly among veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new report from the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed this week. Montgomery emphasized, that in addition to Veterans affected by recent wars, delayed onset of mental illness is common among veterans of past wars who are now seeking help sometimes for the first time. Montgomery’s emphasis on the need for more clinical support for veterans is being discussed today on Capitol Hill as the 2010 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference finishes up.