West Virginia veterans will be happy to know that the Congress passed a valuable health care legislation for veterans: the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. This is to add to the efforts towards ensuring that veterans receive only the best in mental health care after returning home from war.
Clay Hunt’s Legacy
The act is named after veteran sniper Clay Hunt, who was a member of the Marine Corps and deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan tours. His service to the nation didn’t end with his honorable discharge in 2009. He was one of the major voices in the advocacy for veterans who go through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health concerns. He also participated in humanitarian work, together with fellow veterans, in Haiti. While he ended up taking his own life, Clay Hunt left a generous legacy and it’s just fitting that this act be named after him.
The suicide rate among veterans in West Virginia had reached an alarming rate since 2011 – 32 out of every 100,000. The experiences soldiers go through in the battlefield may be the primary cause of their mental or emotional instability, and could perhaps be the reason for the high suicide rate. Fortunately, the government has and continues to pass legislations like the Clay Hunt Act to help veterans recover from their disorders and prevent incidences like suicide.
Filing for Disability Claims
Unlike physical injuries, conditions like depression and PTSD may not be obvious. Sometimes, veterans put up a good front for the sake of their family and friends, and their need for help isn’t noticeable. In many cases, like in Clay Hunt’s, the family and friends were surprised when it happened.
It’s important for veterans’ family and friends to pay close attention to subtle signs. One good way they can discreetly determine their loved ones’ true condition is to suggest a routine checkup and to talk to a reliable veterans disability lawyer, such as Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, for help in disability claims. Even if it seems like there is nothing wrong (yet), it’s a good step to acquire disability benefits for veterans whose earning capacity has been reduced. This would help them with current or future medical expenses.
Since filing for claims can be a long and tedious process, experienced veterans disability lawyers would be a great help in handling such claims and seeing the process through to the end. Family members already have enough stress in their hands in seeing their loved ones suffer PTSD and other conditions. This frees up their time and energy so they could devote themselves to supporting their veteran family members.
(Source: Improving mental health care for West Virginia veterans, Williamson Daily News, Feb. 4, 2015)