GRAND JUNCTION, CO – Richard Salgueiro, who became the director of the Veterans Administration hospital in Grand Junction in May, reported during the regular Mesa County Public Health Covid update this morning that his hospital is seeing an increase in vet suicides. There have been six suicides in 2020, including one reported yesterday, compared to a total of two in 2019.
Salgueiro said that his staff is working to increase access to mental health resources to address this alarming trend.
The Grand Junction-based Western Colorado VA Health System serves an area comprising about 47,000 square miles and over 20,000 veterans. As part of the VA mission, the system also partners with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to support Native American/Indigenous veterans, including those in “highly rural areas”.