February
3

Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill

 

Clay-Hunt

 

Legislation designed to help combat suicide by U.S. military veterans passed in the Senate 99-0 on Tuesday and is now headed to the White House to be signed into Federal Law.

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America Veterans Act calls for the VA to create a centralized website for veterans regarding all VA mental health services, a student loan repayment program that would offer up to $120,000 per year to recruit psychiatrists who commit to working for VA, and a program that would take back unneeded prescription drugs from patients at VA facilities. The bill also calls for an independent evaluation of all VA mental health care and suicide prevent practices to determine what is working and make recommendations on what is not and for the department to establish a new peer support pilot program designed to help service members who are leaving the military access VA mental health care services. Various campus resources are also available online that help educate masses about mental health disorders and the stigma associated with it.

The legislation was introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D.-W.V.).

In November 2014, more than 600,000 veterans — 10% of all the Veterans Affairs patients — continue to wait a month or more for appointments at VA hospitals and clinics, according to data obtained by USA TODAY. It comes at a time when suicide among vets is said to be at an epidemic level. Government statistics show that vets are now taking their own lives at a rate of 22 per day, or, 8,000 per year.

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5 Comments

  1. Check out fort roots, little rock ark. One of the best in the nation for ptsd.

  2. I hate to admit this, but I was almost one of those veterans that tried but did not succeed. I am truly grateful for this. I am empathetic to those that have lost a friend or family member, a loved one period from suicide. I was a patient at a VA Mental Facility, so I know first hand how the veterans are treated and what type of care they receive. Do I believe it is substandard? The staff minus the psychiatrist, were beneficial to helping me understand why I did what I did. They were not judgmental and took care of the patients. We had support groups, a DAV represent came in talk to us, etc. This was part of our treatment. Initially, I was taken off of my usual meds, which really pissed me off. Then, after complaining I was put back on my meds. This decision was based upon the initial evaluation by the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist tried to keep me longer than I wanted to be there. I know all VA facilities are not the same. Unless you have been a patient in a Mental Health Dept., you can only judge by looking from the outside in. It has been nearly a year since I tried to commit suicide. I will not say that the VA has helped me in such a way that I have changed the way I feel. I still have these thoughts about doing it again. I have decided to seek help in the private sector. I have seen there are some understanding, thos that desire to help, non-judgmental, caring personnel. However, there are the ones which will make us feel as though the VA only provides veterans with substandard care.

    • Right On! I will give to you what was given to me that saw me through to the other side. I pray for your physical emotional and spiritual health. Be well sister.

      • Thank you Ken, I appreciate your warm regards. I am taking it one day at a time. When people ask me how I am doing, I respond by saying I am living. For those that know my story, they will understand my response. I will try not to take any day for granted, because it could be my last. Thank you again, you made my evening with your comment. 😀

  3. The va does need to step up to the plate an take care of our vets. Put people in the va who understands an care for them. Not ones who are there just for a check. My husband is a disabled vet with mental health issues I have seen how they are treated an it isn’t right. If it wasn’t for our vets an our soldiers today we would not have our freedom now.

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