There is a serious problem in this country with our veterans committing suicide.
Now, after a rash of suicides that have taken place in VA parking lots, the VA announced it is increasing funding for mental health.
Helping Our Veterans
When Donald Trump ran for office, he promised he would start to take better care of our veterans.
We cannot pretend that all of the problems are fixed but most veterans seem to agree the VA is in far better shape today than it has been in quite some time.
One of the reasons this is happening is because the administration is far more reactive to problems our vets are facing.
It would be nice to see the VA get to the point it is being more proactive, but this is progress.
In this case, the administration is reacting to a pattern that has developed over the last few years of veterans walking out of the VA and committing suicide in their vehicles.
To address the issue, the new budget for 2021 has increased funding by 10 percent to $243.2 billion.
Among the areas to be specifically addressed are suicide prevention, women’s health care, and the merging of electronic health records.
Simply put, these suicides are unacceptable, especially when many of them seem preventable if someone where available to help these veterans.
To address this specific issue, the new budget has earmarked $53.4 million for the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide, or “PREVENTS.”
A VA official stated, “The Prevents Task Force will increase the government’s return on investment by leveraging partnerships with private and community organizations to amplify messages and activities.
“Prevents will further expand its reach through planning and implementation grants executed by other participant federal agencies.”
Democrats, as usual, are not satisfied, fairly ironic since the Obama administration left the VA is a complete state of disarray.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) stated, “Despite significant investments in mental health care for veterans — a top priority for the President, this Committee and VA — these funds direct resources outside VA into grant programs and the Prevents Task Force instead of being used to explicitly support veterans in crisis at VA.”
He would actually go on to call the document “cruel.”
Veteran groups, however, seemed a bit more enthusiastic about the funding, with CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Jeremy Butler stating, “We applaud this administration’s focus on veterans and addressing the community’s unique needs.”