IAVA Joins Morning Joe to Talk Mental Health Care and Women Warriors

IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe today to discuss the tragic suicide of veteran Jamie Brunette. Read more about Jamie here:

The panel also talked about the Clay Hunt SAV Act, women veterans’ issues, veteran suicide and how Americans can get involved in welcoming veterans home from war.

Watch the segment here or by clicking on the :
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Partial transcript:

Lead in – “It seemed like she had everything going for her.” – Joe Scarborough

“So did Clay Hunt. We just passed the SAV Act a few weeks ago and he was in a similar position where he was actively involved and well known in the community. This is a terrible tragedy. And this also underscores the fact that women are at risk here…” – Paul Rieckhoff

“You say sometimes it is tougher for women.” – Scarborough

“It absolutely is. Especially when it comes to getting care at the VA and places where the bureacracy has fell behind. And there is also the issue of military sexual trauma and sexual assault. About 30 percent of IAVA members are survivors of military sexual assault and sexual harassment and most of them do not report it. So they are at higher risk for a lot of issues related to transition.” – Rieckhoff

“We are getting there. The SAV Act was a big deal, American Sniper helped last night and we had this amazing documentary the “Crisis Line: Veterans Press 1″ which we helped present with HBO.”

“A 40 minute documentary short about the veterans crisis line in up state New York that really saves lives everyday. They have taken in 1 million phone calls and saved over 40,000 lives so these people are true heroes – they are working behind the scenes.”

“And this is actually a good story out of the VA. The veterans crisis line has been very innovative and very effective. And this powerful documentary everyone should check it out – it helps get to the very core of these issues.”

“They can get involved. They can support organizations like ours and go to We have plenty of ways to get involved, you can volunteer in your community. And you can make this a public health issue. It is not just a veterans’ issue, it is a public health issue. We need all the community involved from the church group to the little leagues teams to the school teams. Everyone needs to get involved and truly welcome our veterans home.”

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