JULY 10, 2014
The House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on improving access to mental health care services for former soldiers, and the level of care veterans receive for problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury. The witnesses included Veterans Health Administration (VHA) officials, mental health experts, and family members of war veterans who killed themselves after returning from active duty. Jean and Howard Somers told a story about their son, Daniel, being told no beds were available when he attempted to check himself into the VHA for a mental health crisis. Daniel in response sat down on the floor and cried. A VHA staff person told him he could stay and cry as long as he needed before driving himself home.