A bipartisan group of 34 senators despatched a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough calling on the division to hasten connecting struggling Afghanistan veterans to psychological well being companies within the aftermath of the lethal withdrawal from Afghanistan and Kabul bombing, which killed 13 U.S. service members.
Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, led a bipartisan letter calling on the VA secretary to “shortly develop a complete outreach plan” to assist Afghanistan and International Conflict on Terror veterans obtain their service advantages.
Within the letter reviewed by Fox Information, the senators famous that the VA “lately despatched out correspondence” to veterans containing digital assets “encouraging them to hunt assist if they’re experiencing misery associated to their service in Afghanistan or in the event that they want any psychological well being companies.”
“This is step one, however the VA ought to transcend this preliminary outreach,” the senators wrote. “As you recognize, veterans aged 18 to 34 have the very best suicide fee amongst former service members.”
Citing the VA’s Nationwide Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, the senators identified that veterans don’t use the Veterans Well being Administration’s anti-suicide packages and referred to as on the division to give you a plan to get struggling veterans the assistance they want.
“This plan should proactively contact veterans within the coming months by means together with, however not restricted to: digital correspondence, social media, telephone calls, and textual content messages,” they wrote, including the VA’s outreach “ought to encompass detailed data on psychological well being companies.”
“As a rustic, we should maintain the bodily and psychological wellbeing of our veterans on the forefront of our minds and efforts,” the senators concluded the letter.
“Particularly given the fixed media protection and disturbing pictures popping out of Afghanistan, we ask in your dedication to creating a complete outreach plan for our International Conflict on Terrorism, and particularly our Afghanistan veterans.”
The senators becoming a member of Hassan and Ernst on the letter embody Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Dick Durbin, D-Sick., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
The VA didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information’ request for remark.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox Information Digital. Yow will discover him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.