[Albuquerque Journal, N.M.]
Jan. 15--Veterans Affairs officials defended their behavioral health services Thursday after an Iraq war veteran committed "suicide by cop."
Meghan Gerety, the New Mexico Veteran's Affairs Heath Care Services chief of staff, outlined during a news conference the behavioral and mental health programs available to veterans for suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.
"VA has the widest array of mental health services in the nation. And we're very fortunate, as an organization, to have a series of residential programs for veterans who are in need or in distress. We built that series of programs deliberately, to offer a continuum of care," Gerety said. "Somebody who's homeless can also potentially get treatment for substance abuse and get vocational and other educational counseling to be able to reintegrate into the community."
Gerety declined to discuss the case of Kenneth Ellis, who was shot by an Albuquerque Police Department detective Wednesday during a standoff at a Northeast Heights gas station. Ellis had been an infantryman with the U.S. Army, said his mother, Annelle Wharton.
He had been kicked out of an in-patient PTSD program at the Albuquerque VA Hospital for missing an appointment, she said. He tried to get back into the program, but was told his bed had been given to someone else, she said. (click below for complete article; and there is a related article below this link- read on......)
Teague calls for PTSD help for vets
Updated: Friday, 15 Jan 2010, 5:43 PM MST
Published : Friday, 15 Jan 2010, 5:43 PM MST
Reporter: Kaitlin McCarthy
Web Producer: Devon Armijo
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The horrors of war are following New Mexican military men and women home. Waves of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are coming home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., is trying to figure out how the government can give them more help.
Teague met with the people who work directly with veterans at the New Mexico Veterans Hospital Friday to figure out how to do a better job of screening for PTSD.
New provisions to the National Defense Authorization Act were signed into law, requiring that all military men and women get a face-to-face PTSD screening before and after a deployment.
Teague said the issue needs the country’s attention.
“We wanted to go over some of the challenges we're going to have with implementing that, the personnel that we're going to need, the other assets we're going to need and how we're going to do that,” Teague said.
Kenneth Ellis III, 25, an Iraq war veteran, was shot and killed by Albuquerque police on Eubank and Constitution on Wednesday. (click here for complete article:
Investigators said Ellis was holding a gun to his head and refused to put it down, so an officer shot and killed him. (click here for complete article: http://www.krqe.com/dpp/military/teague-calls-for-ptsd-help-for-vets)