Sen. Gillibrand calls attention to need for mental health services for vets and active military

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) Wednesday called attention to the need for better mental health services for former and current members of the military.

Last week, the Department of Defense released a new report showing that 518 service members died by suicide in 2021, and the suicide rate among active-duty personnel rose to its highest level ever recorded in 2020.

Sen. Gillibrand is calling on Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to address lapses in delivering timely access to mental health care for military personnel.

"It’s critical that we devote … If they seek mental health care."

Gillibrand is the chair of the senate armed services personnel subcommittee.

Last year, she worked to secure key provisions that would allow service members to access confidential mental health evaluation referrals without fear of retaliation.

Click here to learn about some of the local health services available to veterans.