Vets’ Suicide Rates, Mental Health Concerns Drive VA Moves
A VA-authorized treatment program at an Arizona hospital was shut down after its director said that suicidal veterans weren't receiving appropriate care. This comes on the heels of a Defense Department study on suicide rates that Sen. Joe Donnelly said reinforces the need for Congress to enact changes. And a VA hospital in Seattle is poised to add a new building dedicated to mental health treatment.
VA Treatment Program Closed After Leader Blows Whistle
Local VA officials shut down a specialized treatment program for veterans just days after its director went public with concerns that suicidal patients are being endangered by inappropriate care at the Phoenix hospital. (Wagner, 4/1)
Dem Senator: More Work Needed To End 'Scourge Of Military Suicide'
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says more needs to be done to prevent military suicides, following a report that showed a rise in the number of active-duty troops taking their own lives. There were 268 confirmed suicides among active-duty military personnel in 2014, up from 254 in 2013, according to a Defense Department report released Tuesday. While the number of suicides among active-duty troops increased between 2013 and 2014, last year’s totals are less than the 320 active duty suicides confirmed in 2012. (Carney, 4/1)
VA Breaks Ground On $152M Hospital-Expansion Project
For the first time in nearly three decades, Seattle’s Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital campus is poised to expand, with construction of a new mental-health and research building set to start later this month amid a booming veteran population seeking treatment. By the time it’s finished in late 2017, the six-story, 219,000-square-foot building will house more than 250 mental-health staff members and 60 researchers and offer improved services for patients, VA officials say. (Kamb, 4/1)