Improving Mental Healthcare Access for Veterans

Happy Memorial Day folks!

I wanted to take some time to bring a little awareness regarding an issue that I consider extremely important right now, and that is the long wait times and limited access Veterans have for receiving mental healthcare.

As someone who lives with bipolar disorder in the pacific northwest, I have seen (and experienced) huge wait periods between when myself or my peers have needed to see a specialist and when we’ve actually been able to see one. Unfortunately, this is something I’ve rather come to expect these days.

What I don’t expect is similar wait times for veterans. While I’m not here to say that veterans are somehow better than the regular population (in fact, I generally consider myself anti-war) but these are people who have already given up an extraordinary amount for the sake of the rest of us.

As someone who has been in the position where long wait periods for psychiatrists left me with no other choice than to enter a psychiatric hospitalization I understand how hopeless this situation can feel, and I hope our government can take action on getting these folks the help that (I dare say) they’ve earned.

You can find an article with a little more detail about the situation here.

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4 responses to “Improving Mental Healthcare Access for Veterans

  1. Sarah, that was a great blog about the veterans- they are often homeless, sleep in their car or many need meds they cannot afford. I have a friend who is a veteran of the Gulf war & has major PTSD & has not been treated at all. He is so angry all the time, i wouldn’t be surprised if he shot someone. I never give money out on the streets, but this guy in a wheelchair asked me how to get somewhere & he couldn’t get any insulin & had a horrible leg injury & i did give him some money. I am anti-war as well, but these people are out there risking their lives to protect us.

  2. The current headlines are a smokescreen, just like the headlines about the VA Claims process backups. The only reason it is getting any attention is that people died, and families of the victims have phone records to back up their claims of contact with the VA. They’ll play the game and get everybody to a 14 day appointment window, which is what all the fuss is about. The other half of the problem, the one unspoken, is that the VA care is not up to par. I’m positive they have “standards of care” and that documents follow it to the letter; I have a good friend who has pretty severe PTSD. His treatment? They’ve medicated him so much that he sits drooling in a chair and has no idea where he is or what is going on around him. No therapy, no plan to progress him, just medication. For every “success” story the VA has, there are hundreds of stories not publicized of the VA fucking people up.

  3. This is a wonderful topic to address today. Thank you for carrying it on your heart and sharing.

    Mental Health and Veterans is a concern. The things they go through and are not able to address with any urgency… I can not imagine.

  4. Truly tragic. Whether or not we support war, we must support those who serve their country by risking their lives.

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