Congressional committee hears testimony on veteran's suicides - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Congressional committee hears testimony on veteran's suicides

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Rep. Mike Michaud cited statistics about the rate of veterans' suicides. (Source: CNN) Rep. Mike Michaud cited statistics about the rate of veterans' suicides. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - In the wake of recent veterans' affairs scandals, the House Committee on the VA is looking into the agency's suicide prevention program.

Congressman Mike Michaud says veteran mental health issues must be treated like an immediate crisis.

"Eighteen to 22 veterans commit suicide each day. In my opinion that is 18 to 22 brave men and women each day who our system has let down in some capacity. It is totally unacceptable," said Rep. Mike Michaud, D-ME, who is the ranking minority member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

"When a veteran has experienced depression or other early warning signs that may indicate mental health issues or even suicide, that must be treated like an immediate medical crisis, because that is exactly what it is," he said.

The VA's recent problems have included long wait times for patients and accusations that the agency purposefully kept misleading records.

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