ISSUE: ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES FOR VETERANS
STATEMENT: Indiana has the fourth largest number of National Guard members in the country. A large number of these individuals, reservists, and other members of the armed forces have served or are serving in Iraq (OIF), Afghanistan (OEF), and other war zones. Veterans frequently return home with significant mental health and substance abuse disorders including prob-lems in readjusting to family and civilian life. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trau-matic brain injury, and suicide are major concerns. Many are unable to access services for themselves or their families through the Veterans Health Administration (VA) and may al-so not qualify for Medicaid or public mental health system services. This problem is exac-erbated by the overall shortage of qualified mental health and addiction professionals throughout the State and specifically professionals trained to work with veterans.
MHAI will work to ensure access to quality mental health and addiction services for all veterans through VA administered services or services provided and reimbursed outside the VA system of care.
PRIORITY LEVEL: III