Sen. Patty Murray, the Washington Democrat and long-time critic of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, took aim at the agency Wednesday for its counseling programs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental-health issues.
From her speech:
“I was deeply disturbed by the news in January that the VA’s preliminary data show a dramatic increase in veterans suicide between 2005 and 2007. The fact that our veterans are serving and sacrificing for our nation only to return to spiral into depression and suicide is appalling. The preliminary data did suggest that access to VA services makes a difference in suicide prevention. That is good news, but if we are truly going to make a difference, the VA needs a more comprehensive effort and these numbers show that the duty of providing mental health services and outreach to our returning veterans is still a challenge to the VA.”
Video from the hearing is here.