SUICIDE APPOINTMENTS: Veterans Denied and Delayed Care at VA Hospitals Making Their Final Visit Deadly

More Veterans Are Killing Themselves at VA Hospitals Nationwide in 2015 as Delays and Denials for Medical Care and Benefits Continue

May 20, 2015

PHOENIX — Homeless veteran Thomas Murphy, 53, died May 10 of suicide in the parking lot of a VA facility. He shot himself in the head with a handgun after writing a note about his frustrations getting his care and benefits from VA.

He is among the more than 100,000 veterans since 9/11 to die from suicide.

More and more veterans are arriving at VA hospitals and administrative offices in a final and symbolic act of desperation. Just how many veterans have come to die by suicide at VA facilities is unknown, and VA isn’t talking.

Former U.S. Marine turned VA counselor in Phoenix, Brandon Coleman, says the problems at VA hospitals handling suicidal veterans are systemic and that most VA staff are poorly trained to deal with suicidal veterans. Coleman recently came forward as a whistleblower to expose the problems of handling suicidal veterans who come to VA for help.

Some are delayed or denied care while others are often allowed to walk out of the emergency room on their own.

On March 30, in the parking lot of the Pittsburgh VA, 31-year-old Former Army staff sergeant Michelle Langhorst also shot herself in the head with a handgun.

It has been more than a year since the secret wait list scandal at VA hospitals became headline news, yet nothing has changed. Several new programs and bills have been passed by congress, yet veterans desperate for the care and benefits they have earned continue killing themselves at VA facilities.

Congress has failed once again to take any action that effectively ensures VA provides the care and benefits veterans need and are entitled to by law.

Click here to read more about the suicide deaths of Thomas Murphy and Michelle Langhorst.


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