Eric Dane, Chairman, Senator Johnny Isakson discussed on Seattle Kitchen

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Cbs ion veterans continues i'm eric dane now back to my conversation with the chairman of the senate veterans affairs committee georgia senator johnny isakson what do you think we can do to combat this issue of a growing suicide rate among the veteran and military communities well we've got we've got a space the music and three or four fronts first of all the va has got you by the mental health timely the mental health benefits to the veterans they get help when they need it and we've made a great step forward in the last year by getting the three national hotlines manned in place where i veterans if they call our hotline they don't get an answering machine they don't get a wrong number they don't get a busy signal to get a human being a mental health expert on the phone to deal with their initial contact they get a referral bail based on the evaluation of that contact and they get services within his many hours a few hours as possible for the time they made that call it is we have done amazing job of getting these calls handled and getting them referred immediately one of the biggest problems when someone is at risk to take their own life time is everything if they if they call hotline to say i'm in trouble you need to get somebody to him now not tomorrow on two weeks not other time but now we're doing a better job of that and i think that will help us in terms of lowering the number of suicides or the rate of suicide that takes place also be willing to talk about it i mean there are a lot of people it's not a pleasant subject suicide is a reality of our society it's reality of saudis around the world is probably must confront and you confront it to ask him questions you're talking through an doing good listening or giving somebody chance to tell you their problem so you can attack it early on rather than wait until it's too late to many people only want to discuss it senator after it's hit too close to home and we need to have those conversations earlier on of course that's bad news at the suicide rate is growing there's also some positive news in the veteran community with recent statistics relating to veteran employment employment showing that much like the national unemployment rate the veteran unemployment rate has gone down how happy are you about that and how much more work do you think they're still needs to be done to make sure that every veterans doing their their part to contribute and happy and a career i'm i'm happy obviously the employment rate is rising and improving i'm not happy until it's totally eliminated in every veteran didn't want the job has a job but i think the movement of our economy the tax law that congress passed now in place that things at the va is done we're just getting ready to confirm a undersecretary of labor is signs nothing but veterans employment those things are going to make a big difference to get employment employment right down even further when it comes to benefits that are available to veterans and retirees there's a lot of worry that benefits in general not specifically relating to healthcare trike hair or anything like that that there may be cuts coming to benefits in the future is that something that people should be worried about or is the senate veterans affairs committee house veterans affairs committee committed to making sure that the vet the veterans benefits that we have remained in place i think we ought to see to it that the benefits that we have in place stay in place in the veterans get what they've been promised retroactively take away a benefit that you can't you can't retroactively take about take away benefits without causing horrible problems anyway but what we've gotta also started doing is recognizing that the rate of increase in the future of a benefit declining is not a cut and that benefit there are a lot of people who take that argument say well if you're gonna cut my benefit from percent or something to seven percent or something in the future not what you've earned in the future that's no it's not it's a change in the benefit in the future that you're gonna make and that's what we're going to have doing social security we cannot afford to twenty trillion dollar deficit forever we cannot afford to have the.

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