Data Contradict Characterization Of Veterans Mental Healthcare As National Success Story

USA Today (8/26, Wagner) reported that in a phone interview with a reporter from the Arizona Republic, Ira Katz, MD, acting director of mental health operations of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, along with “Caitlin Thompson, deputy director for suicide prevention, said veterans’ mental-health care is a national success story that merits a B+ if graded on a curve against other programs.” Katz pointed out that “recent data indicate the suicide rate is increasing among men in the general US population, but is stable among VA patients.”

However, “the positive evaluations come despite VA findings that the number of veteran suicides began rising in 2007” and also appear “to clash with criticism from Congress, watchdog organizations and whistle-blowers who say VA mental-health programs are beleaguered by delays in care, dishonest record-keeping and staffing shortages.”

Related Links:

— “VA touts progress on suicides; data tell another story,” Dennis Wagner, USA Today, August 25, 2014.

Posted in In The News.