Over the past three years, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has reported a dramatic jump in the number of veterans in search of mental health services. In Kentucky, the outbreak of prescription drug abuse is also taking a toll. To better coordinate local, state, and federal agencies that deal with veteran’s health, Governor Beshear has appointed a team of health and military specialists to reevaluate the state’s policies. Retired Col. David Thompson heads up the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs. He says several chronic problems in the veteran community are closely tied to mental health.
“There are numerous veterans that are precariously housed and there are numerous veterans that are homeless and those are oftentimes linked to behavioral health issues.”
The team will travel to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with counterparts from other states to share “best practices” for strengthening health care systems and services.