- The crisis hotline of the Department of Veterans Affairs received 1,681 calls on the day the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan.
- This is 9% more than on the same day in 2020.
- The UK Veterans Helpline has also doubled the number of calls it receives each day.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Crisis Helpline There has been an increase in the number of callers since Kabul was taken over by the Taliban last week.
Calls on the hotline on August 15 increased by 9% compared to the same day last year, said Gary Kunich, the department’s public relations officer. Hill… It was the day that news came out that Taliban militants rise to power and the capital of Afghanistan is captured.
Kunich told The Hill that a total of 1,681 calls were made to the helpline on August 15, 2021. On the same day in 2020, the helpline received 1,456 calls.
He noted that from 13 to 16 August – the days before and after the surrender of Kabul – the helpline also received 531 more calls than in the same period last year.
The Pentagon sent out a circular last week containing a list of mental health resources for US veterans who fought in Afghanistan, encouraging military personnel to remember that their work was not in vain.
The Pentagon has sent a message to the military amid a stream of reports about chaos unfolds in Afghanistan and the approaching 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Military personnel also face tremendous stress while insist that the US government help their Afghan friends and allies whose lives may be in grave danger if they cannot be evacuated before American air traffic ceases.
“Remember that what is happening now does not diminish or deny the experience of everyone who has served abroad,” message read… “Service is never in vain.”
The note also noted that conversations “can be very therapeutic” and advised that members of the armed forces should “do what they feel is right for (them).”
“Remember, this is one moment in time, and no matter what comes next, we will get through it together,” the note says.
NPR reported in June this year that the number of military suicides since September 11 is four times the number of combat deaths. Referring to research War cost of the Brown University military projectNPR cited sobering statistics: More than 7,000 military personnel have died in the fighting over the past two decades, but the suicide rate among military personnel and military veterans has surpassed 30,000.
The increase in the number of military personnel choosing to use mental health resources is not unique to the United States. V BBC reported last week that the number of calls to the helpline British non-profit organization for veterans stress management has doubled since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Jeff Harrison, Combat Stress’s acting CEO, told the BBC that former military personnel may be dealing with “moral damage” from the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“While they were there, they knew they were doing something really worthwhile – they were helping the country, they were keeping the rest of the world safe, they were doing whatever was asked of them. They knew it was, Harrison said, for a moral reason they were there and an ethical reason.
“And now they look at what’s going on, people who just leave overnight, and they just wonder what it was all for. Was it just a waste of effort? ” – added Harrison.