Report: Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Failed Suicide Risk Vets

An internal government audit finds the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center failed to fully follow up with veterans considered high suicide risks after their hospital discharge.

The Fayetteville Observer reports ( ) the VA is required to check on high-risk patients weekly for the first month following their release, but Fayetteville officials failed to check on the patients for the last two weeks of that period. A report released Friday by the Department of Veterans Affairs said 80 percent of all suicide attempts by VA patients occur within a month.

Seven Fayetteville VA patients have committed suicide since 2009, including two in 2012.

Fayetteville VA director Elizabeth Goolsby did not respond to interview requests. VA auditors were told the hospital lacked a suicide prevention coordinator and other staffers were filling in.

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