[Ed. – The Trump administration needs to give this ongoing crisis the attention it deserves.]
A veteran who had sought help from a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in New Jersey killed himself in front of the building after his mental health needs were neglected, an investigation has found.
In a report released Wednesday by the VA’s Office of Inspector General, investigators determined that Charles Ingram III, a 51-year-old veteran who fought in the Gulf War, died by suicide last year after receiving inadequate care from the clinic. Missteps by the facility included a lack of communication between the patient and medical professionals and a lack of proper followup. Perhaps the most egregious incident was when Ingram, trying to schedule an appointment, was told he couldn’t be seen for more than three months.
Ingram ultimately took his own life in March 2016 by setting himself on fire in front of the clinic, shortly before his scheduled appointment.
The investigation came at the request of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D), Sen. Robert Menendez (D) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R), who wanted the inspector general to “assess concerns that a patient’s insufficient access to timely mental health care may have contributed to the patient’s suicide.”