ALBANY, NY — New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to make it easier for veterans to access mental health care.
Gillibrand says it's clear not enough is being done to address suicides in the military.
The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee demanded a review of what she calls vague reporting requirements that prevent military members from getting critical care.
“After being redeployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of New York veterans are suffering from PTSD and TBI and many are not even aware of it,” Senator Gillibrand said in a statement.
Gillibrand also points to a study that shows half of military members think seeking mental health help will hurt their careers.
“I am concerned that too many new veterans are not getting the best quality treatment they need. The government needs to cut the red tape that keeps the Defense Department and the VA from delivering the right mental health treatment for new veterans, put mental health professionals on the ground with all National Guard and Reserve units, make sure we’re prescribing the right pharmaceuticals for veterans who are suffering, and implement better screening and long-term care to make sure we’re doing right by our veterans,” Gillibrand said.
The plan seeks to improve coordination between the Defense Department and VA, Embed mental health providers with the National Guard and Reserve Units, and establish long-term screening and care.