One of the demographics that Modest Needs works to serve are military personnel, soldiers and veterans who are either waiting for assistance or have been denied help. A new report in the New York Times illustrates precisely why a safety net like Modest Needs is needed to keep our brave men and women afloat:
The Veterans Affairs Department has devoted much effort and money to improve and expand its mental health care, especially for those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries. But continuing reports of drug dependency, suicides and suicide attempts among veterans and active-duty soldiers suggest that urgent needs remain vast and unmet. So do persistent accounts from veterans who say they spend months waiting for mental health care.
Now Veterans Affairs’ own health-care professionals say that the department’s efforts are not enough.
After conducting hearings last summer on long waits for mental-health appointments, Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the chairwoman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, asked the department to survey its providers across the country to find out what the problems were. The results, released this month, show chronic inadequacies in access to care.
Only 29 percent of respondents — 272 psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers at dozens of hospitals and clinics — said their workplace had enough staff to meet demand. Nearly 40 percent said they could not schedule an appointment for a new patient within the two-week window the veterans department requires. Nearly 70 percent said they lacked enough space. And nearly half said some patients were being denied care because no appointments were available outside regular office hours.