Active Duty Suicides Increase by 20 %; Not a VA problem but a DoD problem

  Active Duty Suicides Increase by 20 %; Not a VA problem but a DoD problem DoD just released it's 2nd Quarter suicide data and it shows a 20 % increase. According to the report, Marines had the highest increase, followed by Army. The sad part is after awhile the public becomes desensitized to this horrible news. What even more frustrated is the conflation that inevitably happens when we get this news. Everyone will start blaming the VA for not doing enough and all of the VA bashers w...
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Advisory Committee on Women Veterans Town Hall on 22 Sep

"Ellsworth "Tony" Williams (President/CEO for Veterans Counseling Veterans) attended the 4 day Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (ACWV).  On the second day of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans conducted a Town Hall at the Women's Memorial Cemetery in Arlington, VA. As I sat down to write my experience, I knew I was at a crossroad. Tell the truth and be prepared to be blacklisted, shunned and uninvited to any advisory committee event in the future or describe a Pollyanna experience, ...
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85 % Veteran Counselors cannot work at VA because of VA’s Policy

The VA has adopted a policy that effectively shuts to door on over 85 percent of Veterans in the Mental Health professionals from working at any Veteran Hospital as a mental health provider. Their policy requires all Licensed Professional Counselors to have graduated from a Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) accredited institution with no exception or grandfathering for those who already graduated from a non CACREP  school. The "Twist" is CACREP accreditation w...
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Veterans Helping Veterans

I founded "Veterans Counseling Veterans INC with the idea that we should be taking care of each other. I have spent 44 years of my 53 years in a military culture (Dependent and soldier). My rebrand/rebirth began in 2007, that means I am only 9 years old as a civilian. I stubbornly try to hang on to what I've learned even it doesn't fit in my 'new" real world. Whenever you go on a long patrol, every now and then you have to stop, take a break and check your azimuth. The key is knowing when to ...
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Florida’s Veterans Lives Matter Vigil

Veterans Counseling Veterans will sponsor a vigil to recognize Veterans who tragically completed suicide. The event will be on 22 May along Bayshore and Bay to Bay Blvd, Tampa Florida . The 22nd day was chosen to represent the 22 a day completed suicide by a Veteran. The vigil will provide the opportunity for all those affected by the Veterans' Suicide to observe, demonstrate and pray with others who also care about the tragic effects suicide has on not just an individual but the community as we...
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Moral Injury

The depiction of Chris Kyle experience was black and white. We were the good guys, they were the bad guys. We would hesitate until the last minute before we would shoot a child. The enemy had no such hesitance and sometimes counted on us pausing. Was Chris Kyle experience the norm? As counselors you may have to treat a service member whose experiences were not "black and white". Read this article to get a glimpse from someone experiencing what is termed "Moral Injury". If you saw the movie, Chri...
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Another Vet completes Suicide

CALL TO ACTION Tampa Bay has lost two veterans to suicide in the month of Feb 2015. Suicide is comprehensive and elusive tragic conclusion to a person’s life. It is part of our natural cycle of life and death. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, so too will it take a community to address this problem. It isn't just a military thing, it is a community thing and a humanity thing. The time for studies, information, education is over. The solutions must be “Actionable”. Addressing suicid...
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American Sniper

The movie "American Sniper" not only looked at Soldier point of view but also showed the point of view of the family. In one scene Kyle's Wife says, "we need you too!" Most "War" movies focus mainly on the Combat Soldier and his surroundings. Today military families are not the family of Vietnam War era. Instead 44 Percent of 44 percent of military service members have children and 14 percent are single parents. Over 16 percent of the soldiers who deployed are mothers. Family structure and funct...
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491 Board Meeting

Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers Marriage and Family Therapists ( commonly known as 491 Board) held its first meeting of 2015 on 29 January 2015 @ Orlando, Florida. There was only one Registered Mental Health Intern on the Disciplinary section. The Registered Mental Health Intern plead guilty to Medicaid Fraud. A LMHC was on the disciplinary portion for the same violation. A Board member stated that the Sun Sentinel reported that Cuban natives make up over 41 percent of the arrests f...
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