Veteran Commits Suicide in Parking Lot of Phoenix VA | Law Firm Newswire

Veteran Commits Suicide in Parking Lot of Phoenix VA

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) JUne 5, 2015 - A veteran fatally shot himself inside the parking lot of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Phoenix Regional Office in Phoenix, Arizona on May 10.

A gun was found next to the body of Thomas Murphy, 53, who left behind a suicide note. According to a Fox News report, he was attempting to highlight the lack of care for suicidal veterans and display his frustration with the system.
Jim Fausone, a veterans attorney in Michigan, said, “Such tragedies underline the gaps in care that many veterans are struggling with. We need to push for urgency in addressing suicide, one of the biggest problems our veterans face today.”

Murphy had been receiving $130 a month in benefits and staying at the Central Arizona Shelter Services facility for the homeless in Phoenix.

A study published in the Annals of Epidemiology has found suicide rates among veterans to be 50 percent higher than civilians at an annual rate of 29.5 per 100,000 veterans.

According to the VA’s 2012 Suicide Data Report, an average of 22 veterans a day committed suicides around the United States from 1999 to 2010. The report also states that suicide rates are higher among veterans with mental health disorders.

“Veterans should know that support is available to help them cope with PTSD and other mental health issues like depression. Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which involves the reform of the VA’s suicide prevention program. Resources such as an interactive website and qualified mental health professionals will be mde available to veterans,” said Fausone.
Phoenix VA spokeswoman Jean Schaefer said Murphy’s records were being reviewed to determine whether the standard of care for veterans was met and to identify systemic issues

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

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