Initiative taken to help veterans with mental health issues in A - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Initiative taken to help veterans with mental health issues in Alabama

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Three people were killed and 16 others were wounded in the recent attack at Fort Hood, Texas before Specialist Ivan Lopez, shot and killed himself. Officials say the underlying cause of the attack appears to be Lopez's unstable mental condition. Although Lopez, an Iraq vet, did not see combat, the mental health of military personal returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has become more of a concern in recent years.

The mental health staff at the Birmingham VA Medical Center has increased significantly over the past ten years. They have grown from just under 30 workers to over 200. It is part of a larger nationwide initiative to get vets the treatment they need.

"The brain is an organ, like any other organ in the body, and sometimes it gets sick. And fortunately today we have treatments that are very effective," said Dr. Daniel Dahl, V.A. supervising psychiatrist.

It is unclear what caused army specialist Ivan Lopez to allegedly open fire Wednesday at Fort Hood, but his mental state is believed to have played a significant role.

"We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicates unstable psychiatric or physiological condition," said Lt. General Mark Milley. "We believe that to be the fundamental underlying cause."

According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental illness is the leading cause of hospitalization among active duty troops. Among veterans, one in five returning from Iraq or Afghanistan are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Dahl says there is no shame in asking for help.

"There still is a stigma against mental health, but it's an illness," he said. "We want to take good care of our veterans. They served us and we want to serve and appreciate the opportunity to serve them."

The VA has nine of those community outpatient clinics scattered across north and central Alabama.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Neighbors learn about potential drug treatment center

    Neighbors learn about potential drug treatment center

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:12 PM EDT2018-04-24 03:12:39 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    Another drug treatment center wants approval from the city, but is getting some push back from neighbors. This one is in west Toledo, on Sylvania Avenue right at the corner on Sylvania and Jackman. The vacant church could house a new drug treatment center. A total of 48 beds for those trying to combat drug and alcohol addiction through an inpatient, residential 30-day program.  "We're looking to bring a glimmer of hope,” said Breanna David, with Byrans Treatmen...More >>
    Another drug treatment center wants approval from the city, but is getting some push back from neighbors. This one is in west Toledo, on Sylvania Avenue right at the corner on Sylvania and Jackman. The vacant church could house a new drug treatment center. A total of 48 beds for those trying to combat drug and alcohol addiction through an inpatient, residential 30-day program.  "We're looking to bring a glimmer of hope,” said Breanna David, with Byrans Treatmen...More >>
  • Construction for first marijuana dispensary underway in Gibsonburg

    Construction for first marijuana dispensary underway in Gibsonburg

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:08 PM EDT2018-04-24 00:08:34 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    Construction is now underway for one of the first medicinal marijuana facilities in the Gibsonburg area. The Standard Wellness Company was awarded one of Ohio's cultivation licenses for medicinal marijuana. Their location is in Gibsonburg, Ohio, as many local municipalities voted to keep facilities out, Gibsonburg wanted the industry. The 50,000 square foot facility is expected to create at least 20 to 30 new jobs. Also, village administration said having another tenant in their ind...More >>
    Construction is now underway for one of the first medicinal marijuana facilities in the Gibsonburg area. The Standard Wellness Company was awarded one of Ohio's cultivation licenses for medicinal marijuana. Their location is in Gibsonburg, Ohio, as many local municipalities voted to keep facilities out, Gibsonburg wanted the industry. The 50,000 square foot facility is expected to create at least 20 to 30 new jobs. Also, village administration said having another tenant in their ind...More >>
  • First Alert 10-Day Forecast: Chance of rain tonight, Thursday

    First Alert 10-Day Forecast: Chance of rain tonight, Thursday

    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    A chance of rain is expected late tonight and Tuesday. A northeast breeze off the lake will make for much cooler weather with highs in the 50s.

    More >>

    A chance of rain is expected late tonight and Tuesday. A northeast breeze off the lake will make for much cooler weather with highs in the 50s.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly