Against The Backdrop Of Persistently High Suicide Rates, Program Finds Success With Veterans Helping Veterans During A Crisis
Authorities are touting a Los Angeles County program as a breakthrough in policing that could save lives of veterans who are having a crisis. Since the program’s launch in September, local law enforcement agencies answering such 911 calls have dispatched not only deputies or officers but also two-person teams from the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach. Supporters call the program the first of its kind and hope it will be replicated nationwide.
The Washington Post:
Veterans Talking Veterans Back From The Brink: A New Approach To Policing And Lives In Crisis
The former Army soldier was slumped in the back seat of a sheriff’s department squad car when Shannon Teague and Tyrone “T-bone” Anderson arrived on the scene. A couple of hours earlier, high on meth, he’d been yelling “you will die” from the front porch of a transition house for homeless veterans. Teague made the introductions. Neither she nor Anderson wore a uniform, except for the patch on their jackets and the ID tags clipped to their shirts. “I’m a social worker, and this is my partner, T-bone,” she told the man. “We are from the VA. You’re not in trouble.” (Kuznia, 3/20)
In other news on mental health care for veterans —
Kaine, Warner Introduce Bill Aimed At Strengthening Mental Health Services For Veterans
Virginia’s U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are seeking to improve veterans’ access to mental health care. The two Democrats introduced the legislation in Congress on Monday along with Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., in an effort to bolster the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental health workforce; increase rural access to care; and expand access to alternative options such as animal therapy, outdoor sports and yoga. (Friedenberger, 3/19)