Murphy Calls On VA To Improve Monitoring Of Suicidal Vets

Alarmed by a new report that found gaps in the VA’s follow-up care of suicidal veterans discharged from Veterans Health Administration inpatient mental health facilities, U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy is asking the VA to “act as quickly as possible” to reduce the risk of suicide. In a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki — prompted by a Wednesday news story about the VA Office of Inspector General’s report — Murphy said he had “deep concern” about the findings of deficiencies in follow-up care for veterans who are discharged from inpatient mental health facilities. “As you know, suicide is now the leading cause of death among military personnel who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as many as 22 veterans take their own lives every day,” Murphy wrote. “Given this stark reality, the fact that the VA is not monitoring veterans who are at a high risk of suicide is not acceptable.”

Murphy requested that the VA provide him with a comprehensive overview of the improvements it plans to make to reduce suicide rates. He praised Shinseki for focusing on the “epidemic” of veteran suicides, but said the new report “suggests that we still have a lot more work to do.

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New Report: U.S. Losing The Battle Against Military Suicides

Excess prescription drug use and a “flawed” post-deployment mental health screening process are among the factors fueling an increase in suicides among military service members, a new report by the Center for a New American Security [CNAS] says.

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Senators: Recognize Families Of Troops Who Commit Suicide

A group of senators, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, is asking President Obama to start sending condolence letters to families of U.S. service members who kill themselves, in what would be a reversal of long-standing policy.

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