KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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A General Found A Way To Reduce Veteran Suicide — But The Army Isn’t Adopting It

Major General Dana Pittard implemented a strategy at Fort Bliss in Texas so that it had the lowest suicide rate of any major Army installation in the world. But despite it being acknowledged as a model of success, the Army as a whole hasn't implemented it.

Politico: The General Who Went To War On Suicide
On the evening of July 19, 2010, Major General Dana Pittard, the new commander of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, got a call from the base’s 24-hour duty officer. A SWAT team had been sent to the house of a young sergeant named Robert Nichols. Nichols was inside with a gun, threatening to kill himself. Pittard arrived at the soldier’s home just in time to see the soldier step out of the house, put the gun to his chest and fire. Neighbors and police crowded the street, but Pittard was the only officer from the Army base at the scene. He went home, where his boxes were still packed from his move 10 days before, feeling disturbed and helpless. (Hattem, 3/17)

NH Times Union: Statewide Effort Aims To Improve Mental Health Services For Veterans 
Leaders in the mental health and veteran fields say that New Hampshire is the first in the nation to implement a statewide effort to identify mental health patients with a military background and fashion outreach and treatment programs for them. At least one staff member at each of the state’s community mental health centers is a designated liaison for military issues. Hundreds of mental health workers have been trained on military culture. (Hayward, 3/16)

In other veterans health care news —

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