The VA could establish a 24 hour phone line and active computer system that would be operated by VA specialists in mental health, and that would work with local and state law enforcement to identify at-risk veterans/soldiers/contractors that are in need of mental health treatment.
* Through that system, law enforcement can report/identify people of concern that may have appeared to be under serious emotional distress, that committed a crime, or that police encountered in some other way.
* Then, someone at the VA processes that information in real-time, and puts it into a shared file for that veteran that is accessible by VA medical centers and outpatient clinics.
* Specialists at the VA would also recommend any potential immediate action, which could include: therapy, hospitalization, or other treatment.
* Additionally, the Joint Center would document this contact with the veteran, including the recommended treatment with VA, so it would be flagged during any future medical visits or hospitalizations.
Schumer said that this could also help with the treatment of veterans that do not intend to hurt others, but those that might be suicidal. Over the past few years, military suicides have continued to increase. In 2012, there were 349 suicides among active-duty troops, the most ever recorded according to the
In August, Alexis went to the emergency room at two different VA Medical Centers, one in
Schumer noted that the VA has taken initiative in other areas to address mental health issues amongst veterans. For example, the VA has added more rural and mobile clinics to ensure that more veterans have access to health care no matter where they live. The VA has also provided Mental Health Treatment Coordinators to be assigned to each veteran that receives specialty mental care to ensure that every veteran who is seeking help has a single point of contact.
Read this original document at: http://www.schumer.senate.gov/Newsroom/record.cfm?id=345805
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