Trying to Improve Mental Health Care for Veterans
Members of the Iowa Congressional delegation are co-sponsoring a bill to expand access to mental health care for veterans. It's named in honor of a veteran from Davenport, Brandon Ketchum, who committed suicide in 2016.
Iowa Second District Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks says Ketchum, who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, died after being denied admission for treatment at a V-A hospital.
"The rate of suicide among military veterans, especially those who have served in our recent conflicts from Desert Storm to Iraq and Afghanistan and the global war on terror, the rate of suicide among these veterans is higher than the general population. And we need to bring continued attention and focus, and develop the root causes of why veterans commit suicide."
Specifically the bill would expand an existing V-A program that provides mental health services to veterans in rural areas, and supports more research on the mental health needs of veterans.
The V-A estimates 20 per cent of combat veterans suffer from at least one serious mental health condition.