Congress Probes Mental Health Services At VA

David Pittman | Medpage Today | February 13, 2013

Mental health services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) don't seem to be improving despite increases of nearly 40% in both staff and budget in the last 6 years, a congressional committee charged Wednesday.

Veterans still wait on average 50 days for an evaluation through the VA and the suicide rate for veterans increased for the third time in 4 years in 2012, members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee said. Suicides have surpassed the number of combat deaths.

"While I am and will remain supportive of the improvements the department is attempting to undertake internally, it has become painfully clear to me that VA is focused more on its process and not its outcomes," Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said during a hearing on the department's efforts in mental healthcare...