Three Veterans Die by Suicide in Five Days at Veterans Affairs Facilities

Three veterans died by suicide in a five-day span at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, prompting a response from Capitol Hill. Two veterans died by suicide in Georgia, and another shot himself in the waiting room at a VA clinic in Austin, Texas. “Those deaths did not go by me without noticing them, nor has it gone by me that we have a job to do,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-GA). The Trump administration’s VA has failed to spend millions of dollars that were allocated for suicide prevention, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office. VA officials have left millions of dollars available for outreach campaigns in 2018 untouched and severely cut back on their advertising efforts. According to a report by The Washington Post, 19 suicides occurred on VA property between October 2017 and November 2018. “Every one of these is a gut-wrenching experience for our 24,000 mental health providers and all of us that work for VA,” said Richard Stone, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration.