Thursday, October 29, 2015

VA Lacks Data to Track Mental Health Progress,, Still

Nothing has changed in decades. How many times do members of Congress get to listen to problems before they finally fix the VA once and for all veterans? It is exactly the same as it was in the 80's and 90's!
Watchdog: VA lacks data to track mental health progress
Stars and Stripes
By Heath Druzin
Published: October 28, 2015
Navy veteran Dean Maiers, broke down in tears while telling the committee about his struggles after his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, which included a suicide attempt. He said the VA treatment he finally received saved his life, but that the VA’s narrow appointment schedule means finding time for treatment is difficult.
Navy veteran Dean Maiers covers his eyes to hold back tears Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 before a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where he emotionally told of how he tried to kill himself before receiving mental health care.
CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES
WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs officials are using two different wait-time standards for veterans seeking mental health evaluations and could be underestimating how long it takes to schedule those appointments because they lack consistent data, according to a report from a government watchdog.

The report was released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office and dovetailed with a hearing on veterans mental health by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, where veterans talked about their continued struggles to get help from the VA in sometimes emotional testimony.

Former Marine Nicholas Karnaze, who served two tours in Afghanistan, said it took him one year to enroll in the VA system. When he did seek mental health care, he said he was bounced to two different phone numbers that both ended in voicemail. He didn’t get a call back.
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