News Releases

Murray Calls for Resignation of VA's Top Mental Health Official

Apr 22 2008

Outraged by VA's Apparent Attempts to Hide Veteran Suicide Numbers, Murray asks for Katz to Step Aside

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Following the release of court evidence that the VA has purposely withheld critical information on the rising number of veteran suicides, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today called for the resignation of Dr. Ira Katz, the head of mental health for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Murray, a key member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee who has repeatedly called on the VA to improve outreach and mental health services for our nation's veterans, this morning spoke with Secretary Peake to express her concern.

Murray released the following statement:

"It is imperative that the individual responsible for providing top notch mental health services to our veterans be open and honest about the VA's needs.  

"Doctor Katz's irresponsible actions have been a disservice to our veterans and it is time for him to go.  The number one priority of the VA should be caring for our veterans, not covering up the truth.

"I have spoken with Secretary Peake and I have asked him to take immediate action to restore the faith of our veterans in the mental health care provided by the VA.  

"The epidemic of veterans' suicide is horrifying but it should also be preventable.  In order to ensure that it is, the VA must be honest about the numbers and the needs.  It is time for the VA to own up to the true cost of the war and ensure our heroes aren’t lost when they come home."