We Must Improve Anti-Suicide and Mental Health Care Programs at the VA

October 15, 2014 1:19 AM

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America's men and women in uniform bravely defend our nation and our values. Their skill, dedication and valor are the envy of the world. When their time in uniform is over, they are entitled to world-class health care, a benefit they've earned and that their country is grateful to provide for them. We have to improve Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) services: wait times are too long, veterans don't have enough options and benefits paperwork takes too long to process, especially for veterans in Maryland that use the Baltimore VA. The bipartisan VA reform bill that was signed into law this summer is a good start -- providing more funding, more flexibility and more accountability -- but we still have work to do.

One of the most critical areas of need is improving our suicide prevention efforts. According to a study conducted by the VA, on average, 22 veterans a day commit suicide. That's one tragedy every 65 minutes and according to analysis done by CNN, that number could be even higher. This is an area whe...

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