Senator to VA: Fire your mental health director (Suicide hotline put veterans on hold, didn’t call back)

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In the wake of wars are the families of the dead, but there are also the living and the families of the living. Often the living who return from war are hurt, disabled, some visibly, some not so visibly. Traumatic head injuries from explosions, traumatic situations of other sorts can overload the human system. Tour after tour in the desert takes its toll.  War, it is said, is hell. Some need help finding their way out of war when they return. They should at the very least have a suicide hotline which doesn’t place them on hold.

One of the biggest problems with government is when government employees feel so entitled, so protected, that the people the agency is supposed to serve suffer. That certainly seems to be the case at the VA on any number of levels. Veteran’s Affairs is a sick agency.

(From The Marine Corps Times)

In his letter, Kirk implored VA to replace Schohn with someone from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services who has experience overseeing a suicide hotline.

“There can be no higher order within the VA than taking seriously the suicide rates of our service men and women when they return from the battlefield,” Kirk wrote. “Use the authority you have to demonstrate that repeated failure at the VA is unacceptable by firing Dr. Schohn.”

Gibson said the changes at the crisis line and improvements will help ensure that veterans who call the line are helped promptly.

“Getting this right is a top priority. We need to be able to help veterans when they are at their most vulnerable, when they are in crisis,” Gibson said.

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