Peters, Senators want VA to address mental impact of Afghanistan withdrawal on veterans

DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) — U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) and 34 other Senators across the country have written a letter to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) calling for increased outreach to Afghanistan veterans.

According to a release from Peters, calls to veteran suicide hotlines have been on the rise since the fall of Kabul.

In the letter, Peters and Senators say that while the VA has sent out digital resource links to veterans, the effort to help should go beyond that.

“The VA recently sent out correspondence with digital links to veterans encouraging them to seek help if they are experiencing distress related to their service in Afghanistan or if they need any mental health services. This is a first step, but the VA should go beyond this initial outreach. As you know, veterans aged 18 to 34 have the highest suicide rate among former service members.[1] Beyond that, the VA’s National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report repeatedly indicates that veterans, including those who served in Afghanistan, do not use Veterans Health Administration services aimed at decreasing suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.”

Peters and other Senators finish their letter to the VA by stating the desire ensured commitment to a plan to aid Afghanistan veterans.

The full letter can be accessed by clicking here.

By:  Izzy Martin
Source: WLNS Channel 6 Lansing