The VA Hospital once again finds itself in the spotlight. On Monday, 31 year old Michelle Langhorst shot herself in the head while in the parking lot of H.J. Heinz, a Pittsburgh VA hospital in Aspinwall. Langhorst is one in a growing number of veteran suicide statistics.
According to a Medical examiner, Langhorst took her life around 1:37 in the afternoon. Although the VA hospital she was receiving medical treatment has yet to be determined, she chose to take her life in the parking lot of the VA hospital located at 1010 Delafield Road.
The following is a statement released form the VA,“This is a tragic event that speaks to the suffering and anguish that some veterans experience. Our thoughts and condolences go to this veteran’s family and friends.”
PostGazett.com went on to report that while the VA is continuing to investigate, “Part of the investigation will determine what, if anything, we could have done for this veteran and others who receive care at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.”
At least 22 veterans kill themselves every day in this country.
Although a briefing by the US Department of Veteran Affairs suggests that “suicides among those enrolled in the Veteran Health Administration decreased by 30 percent it also states that suicides among veteran non-enrollees” soared by 60 percent.
But, Enrollment may not be the problem. It is the treatment received that may not always be adequate, states the briefing, and in some cases patients will commit suicide while waiting months to receive the help they need.
Does the VA owe Langhorst’s family, and those waiting months to receive much needed medical attention, an explanation and an apology…and is that enough?