Team To Investigate Veteran Mental Health Solutions

Aug 29, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Steve Beshear has tasked a team of military and health care specialists with developing new strategies to deal with mental health and substance abuse problems among veterans.

The VA estimates about 335-thousand veterans call Kentucky home – and the number of veterans nationwide seeking mental health care has seen a dramatic spike over the past three years. In Kentucky, the issues are familiar.

"We're dealing with problems with prescription drug abuse and the veteran population is not immune from that either," says Retired Col. David Thompson is chair of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs.

Thompson says the team will travel to Washington, D.C.  next week for two and a half days of intense strategy development where they will examine what policies have worked well in other states.

"The intent is to foster collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels to insure that this population can avail itself of the services needed," Thompson says.

The team will also take up the issue of homelessness in the veteran population.