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Miller Statement on White House, VA Mental Health Announcements

Jun 3, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller made the following statement regarding today’s veterans-related mental health announcements from the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs: 

“What our veterans need now is more action, not more talk. Meeting hiring benchmarks and holding summits should not be held up as progress unless they lead to measurable improvements in the quality, efficiency and accessibility of VA mental health care. As recent tragic events at Atlanta’s VA medical center have proven, lack of access to VA mental health care services remains a deathly serious problem for the department – one that past staffing and budget increases as well as numerous mental health summits have failed to solve. VA mental health staffing and funding are already at record levels, yet veterans seeking VA mental health treatment still wait 50 days on average for an initial evaluation and the number of veteran suicides has remained constant for more than a decade. In order to truly maximize mental health care for today’s veterans, the department’s focus should be on improving accessibility, treatment and outcomes – not on holding summits or meeting hiring benchmarks.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

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