Level of mentally ill veterans ‘quite high,’ VA psychologist says

Help in several forms available for San Antonio veterans, families

SAN ANTONIO – The level of mentally ill veterans at the South Texas Veterans Regional Health Care System is “quite high,” according to Dr. James Hoover, a clinical psychologist who specializes in suicide prevention.

But, he said, the VA Hospital in San Antonio offers a wide array of services for those veterans and their families.

Still, he also offered advice for spouses, family members or friends who are trying to help veterans struggling with mental illness.

“By all means, sit with them, be with them. Don’t judge. Act with calm, collected confidence,” Hoover said. “Assure them that help is available, and that you are interested in being helpful, and that you will guide them into care; that you will help them gain access to appropriate care.”

If all else fails and the situation becomes increasingly tense, Hoover said they should call 911 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255.

To learn more about the VA’s mental health services, click here.

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About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.

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