Valley veteran reaches out to ABC15 after feeling let down by Phoenix VA
ABC 15 News
By: Sonu Wasu
Jul 22, 2019
She explained that the Phoenix VA had been offering telehealth in the PTSD clinic since 2010, and the program worked really well for those veterans who lived in rural areas, so they did not have to drive 2-3 hours just for an appointment with a counselor.
PHOENIX — When it comes to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs consider themselves among the best. Those involved in the program here in Phoenix tell us, the Valley is nationally renowned for the PTSD care they offer veterans.
At the Phoenix VA, the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical team works with veterans and service members who have experienced traumatic events in their lives.
According to statistics ABC15 has obtained from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, the veteran suicide rate in Arizona was significantly higher than the overall national suicide rates. The mental health call center at the Phoenix VA healthcare system reports handling 40,000 calls in 2018. Staff credit their team for helping save dozens of lives.
"I realized I was out of control. I couldn't control myself anymore. I couldn't control the anger, the flashbacks, and the nightmares were becoming more severe and more numerous," said Phillips.
He said the hardest part about opening up about his experiences initially was talking about them with someone who had never been deployed. He didn't know if he would be judged.
Phillips said he started and stopped treatment a few times, and each time there was a new counselor, he had to open up to all over again.
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VA officials said the average wait time for a veteran who is seeking help for PTSD is about two weeks right now. Those in crisis can use same day services in mental health during regular business hours in person, via phone, or through MyHealthVet secure messaging
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As he has in the past, Wilkie countered the charges by referencing a Journal of American Medical Association report from earlier this year which found VA wait times are better than the private sector in primary care, and a Dartmouth College study which found VA hospitals outperform private hospitals in most health care markets.read it hereMaybe now you get the idea that sending veterans into private-for-profit healthcare is a bad idea? Fix the VA for all our disable veterans.