December 21, 2016

Donnelly Turns Focus To Veteran Mental Health

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says he’s worked for years to address the mental health of active-duty service members, and he’s now shifting his focus to veterans. - Brandon Smith/IPBS

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says he’s worked for years to address the mental health of active-duty service members, and he’s now shifting his focus to veterans.

Brandon Smith/IPBS

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says he’s worked for years to address the mental health of active-duty service members, and he’s now shifting his focus to veterans.

Donnelly’s efforts to address military mental health include requiring an annual mental health assessment for all service members, National Guardsmen and reservists and expanding treatment options, both within and outside the Department of Defense. He says he now wants to expand that legislation to include veterans.

“We’re losing 20 veterans a day to suicide right now. The goal is to get to zero,” Donnelly says.

Expanding treatment options would involve the Department of Veterans Affairs, an agency that’s experienced significant issues in delivering care the last few years. Still, Donnelly says he’s confident in using the VA to help address veteran mental health.

“Well I know the infrastructure is, in many cases, people. And I’ve talked to all of them and they all want in, they all want to solve this problem,” Donnelly says. “And so you start off with incredible goodwill, incredible desire to get it done.”

Donnelly says he’ll work to find solutions that don’t require too much money from the federal budget, which he knows will be in short supply.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Camp Atterbury says most eligible evacuees have been vaccinated against COVID
Eli Lilly says legislation to address drug prices would hurt its current, future operations
Questions linger as employers and workers wait for Biden's new vaccine rules