PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Oregon Lines for Life teamed up Friday to discuss efforts to support veterans and first responders, especially when it comes to suicide prevention and mental health support.
The discussion came ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The first responders who answered the call for help on that day are still paying the price, both physically and mentally. Today, more than 14,000 of those first responders are battling cancers related to toxic exposure.
Wyden said he’s working across the aisle on improving the support that’s available to first responders and veterans, especially in regards to suicide prevention and mental health. He said one issue he’s addressing is the workforce shortage in the healthcare industry.
“What I have been told by veterans again and again: the health care available to them is terrific — if they can get to it,” he said.
Wyden said other measures will include integrating programs to limit road blocks for those who need treatment programs.