DelBene: We Can and Must Do Better for Our Veterans
SEATTLE – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today attended the groundbreaking of a new VA Puget Sound mental health and research center.
“It’s our responsibility to serve and care for our veterans who bravely risked their lives and made painful sacrifices for our families and freedoms,” DelBene said. “The cost of war is high and too many veterans still aren’t getting the support they need. We can and must do better.”
The $152 million project will go a long way toward expanding veterans’ access to mental healthcare in the Northwest. More than 250 mental health staff and 60 researchers are expected to be hired, filling gaps in mental health needs. The facility is expected to open in 2017 and will serve as a mental health center in addition to providing clinical research, education and rehabilitation services and a substance abuse treatment and recovery center.
More than 15 percent of post-9/11 veterans are estimated to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after they leave the military and as many as 22 veterans commit suicide each day.
“With the demand for mental health services in our region expected to grow, this building represents a significant investment in ensuring our veterans have timely access to the care they need,” DelBene said. “This groundbreaking couldn’t come soon enough.”
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Jim McDermott (WA-07) also attended the event, which was hosted by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS).