Veterans Seek Better Mental Health Treatment Through Court

Though mental health has at its core the best interests of those working through their difficulties, it is often set back by issues in regulation, administration, funding, and other aspects which have little to do with the process of healing itself. Such complications can lead to delays in treatment, which can in turn become major issues when those in need of professional help are left unassisted. This problem is the focus of a lawsuit being brought against the Department of Veterans Affairs by veterans themselves, who claim that treatment is largely inaccessible and inadequate, and that previous efforts in negotiations have fallen short of effecting any meaningful change.

Those who are deployed in war are indicated for a fairly high risk of both physical and mental health injuries. Aside from experiencing painful and potentially permanent physical disabilities, many veterans return from active duty with a great deal of mental and emotional stress, and may develop symptoms of mental health issues as a result. Proper identification and treatment of such issues is often crucial to ensuring personal happiness and prosperity throughout the course of life, but many veterans point to difficulties in affording such treatment and long waiting lists for therapy and other services as hindering the potential for healing.

While the courts have expressed a lack of authority in the matter, they have pledged to work with the veterans as well as the VA to try and create an agreement should the parties fail to reach one on their own. As the VA has stated that it suspects resolution is unlikely, the issue may be wrapped up in legal proceedings for quite some time. Hopefully, in the end, this will lead to more appropriate and competent treatment for veterans.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Alice


    September 13th, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    So sad that the men and women who are put out there to fight for our country are having to fight the department which supposedly has their best interests at heart with a lawsuit to simply ensure that they get the medical care that they need and deserve. It is a shame that the department does not think of them any more highly than this.

  • Martha T.

    Martha T.

    September 13th, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    It’s disgraceful to treat veterans in such a manner. The government can always find money when it needs to. Think back a few months to the bailout money being distributed to corporations. The cash is there. They need to loosen the purse strings and now. This is life and death.

  • Francis W.

    Francis W.

    September 13th, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    How can any government official or court read that there are 1000 suicide attempts a month among vets and sleep soundly in their bed if they do nothing? Those veterans had to go to war. If they had stayed at home, perhaps they would not be suffering the mental health issues they are today. Give them what they are more than entitled to.

  • CraigH.


    September 13th, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    Having to go to court to get what is rightfully theirs by any standards of moral decency is appalling. These men and women made their sacrifices. There should be no question nor delay.

    Perhaps the military wants to hide the extent of mental health problems that vets endure. I don’t imagine that’s broadcast on the recruitment posters under reasons to join the military.

  • Robin


    September 14th, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    I just don’t know what to think about hearing something like this. These are the very men and women who are risking their lives minute by minute to protect us overseas and this is the kind of thanks that they get? I would think that the Dept of Vet Affairs would want to do a better job of keeping issues like this at bay given that it is getting harder and harder to get good young men and women to sign up to go into the armed services. If you can’t take care of your own then why should someone even bother to give you that kind of sacrifice?

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