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VA seeking vets and other public comment on suicide risk co pay issue



https://www.regulations.gov/document/VA-2022-VHA-0003-0001      public comments can be made here
VA News Releases

VA News Release

01/05/2022 09:17 AM EST
In part:
"To encourage outpatient mental health care and reduce any potential barriers associated with seeking it, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to eliminate copayment requirements for outpatient mental health visits and reduce the copayments for medications dispensed to Veterans who are identified as high risk for suicide by a VA clinician."
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Posted (edited)



While I do think it would be good to delay, or eliminate copays, it would be like putting a 1inch bandaid, on a man who just had both legs blown off with an IUD.  If a Veteran is homeless, or suicidal, he needs REAL HELP, not waiver of copayments on meds!  What they really need is quick delivery of VA benefit checks so they may get a real home, and they may also need substance abuse help.  While I was never addicted, I know many are, and addiction of alcohol or drugs  issues need to be solved before progress can be made straightening out one's life.  When I was homeless, and suicidal, VA responded with multiple delays, frustrating zero percent ratings which helped zero, chopping my claims issues into multiple multiple parts which ensured the appeals would last for nearly 2 decades.  If VA did their job, I would have never lost my home, I simply could not hold out more than about 2 years without any income.  Yea, VA is "supposed" to consider a claim for compensation as a claim for pension, but I did not know that..so, I got nothing for 2 years, and was unable to keep my home.  There are far too many "cracks" for Veterans to fall through, become homeless or suicidal which need to be addressed.  Benefit delays, is the "grand canyon" of these cracks that trap Veterans, as VA does not get, that a man who can not provide for his family is desperate, and needs help now, not in 4 years after long appeals.  

Edited by broncovet
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I have seen my share of veterans who drown out the pain from PTSD and other conditions with drinking and/or drugs. I have also seen some die because of it. The severity of the scars can be quite severe and disrupt the strongest battle hardened man. When suicide is brought to mind, we get the image of someone actually trying to take their own life, but it really goes much deeper. The loss of hope in the eyes of good people makes my heart weep.

A lot of vets are living in the woods. I have personally met several of these vets who have existed well below the poverty line for 10-20+ years. They live life one day at a time with the goal to get high and stay that way. We have seen record amounts of fentanyl cross our borders in the US this last year. ANY vet doing these drugs can die in a matter of seconds from a "hot shot" (heroin or speed laced w/fentanyl and injected). This is also a form of suicide.

I have brought Vets to the local VA domiciliary, and some did turn their lives around, but there are many more across the country in the same shoes. Others refused to go, and are no longer with us. The last year I was able to reach out to the people in the woods, 63 people had killed themselves this way. I know at least a dozen were Vets.

If they could solve this problem, it would be huge.

Edited by pwrslm
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