A veteran burned himself alive outside of a Veterans Affairs facility in early 2016 after the clinic repeatedly failed to provide him mental health support despite constant pleas for help, according to an investigation into the death.
Charles Ingram, a 51-year-old Gulf War veteran, went nearly a year without a therapy session or appointment with the psychiatrist who prescribed medication for his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder prior to his suicide, the VA inspector general found.
Dan Caldwell, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, said while the VA has since implemented reforms to improve access for veterans, problems still remain.
“It’s an absolutely tragic situation,” he said. “No veteran should have to wait three months for an appointment—that is completely unacceptable. It’s important to note this case is from March 2016, but some of the issues that created this problem still exist today, especially in getting veterans access to care in a timely manner.”
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