News Releases

VETERANS: Murray to Question VA Officials on Unacceptable Waiting Lines for Mental Health Care

Nov 28 2011

After survey of mental health providers shows wide discrepancies in wait times for mental health care at providers across the country, Murray will question top VA mental health officials on causes and efforts to address this problem

(Washington, D.C.)On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing focusing on the long wait for mental health care at some VA facilities across the country. The hearing, which comes at a time when as many as 18 veterans are committing suicide each day, will be a chance for Senator Murray to question the VA on a survey she requested of mental health providers that showed that in many areas of the country wait times far exceeded the VA’s mandated 14 day window.  The survey also showed that 70 percent of providers said they did not have adequate staff or space to meet the mental health care needs of the veterans and 46 percent said the lack of off-hour appointments prevented veterans from accessing care. 

NOTE: For access to the survey Senator Murray requested to see how your local VA providers performed contact the Murray press office at the number above.

WHO: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray

Mary Schohn, PhD, Director, Mental Health Operations, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

Michelle Washington, PhD, Coordinator, PTSD Services and Evidence Based Psychotherapy, Wilmington, Delaware VA Medical Center, Representing the American 

Charles W. Hoge, MD, Col. U.S. Army (Ret.)

Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD, Founder and President, Give an Hour

John Roberts, Executive Vice President, Mental Health and Warrior Engagement, Wounded Warrior Project

WHAT: “VA Mental Health Care: Addressing Wait Times and Access to Care"

WHEN: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM EST/7:00 AM PST

WHERE:   Russell Senate Office Building – Room 418