What We're Reading: VA Healthcare Changes; Mental Health and Gun Violence; CDC Suicide Report

President Donald Trump is planning to announce details of his plan to expand the role of the private sector to deliver healthcare to veterans; research looking at connections between mental health and gun violence is not so clear cut; the suicide rate among Americans of working age (between 16 and 64) increased 34% from 2000 to 2016 across 17 states.

Trump to Announce Privatization Plans for VA in January

President Donald Trump is planning to announce details of his plan to expand the role of the private sector to deliver healthcare at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in January, ProPublica reported. The cost is difficult to predict, but VA officials have told Congress and veterans groups that it will range from $13.9 billion to $32.1 billion over 5 years. Since the administration opposes lifting overall government spending, Democrats say the increased cost will come at the expense of the VA’s own health system. Some lawmakers and veterans groups said that is not the intent of the “veterans choice” law passed earlier this year.

Connections Between Mental Health, Mass Shootings Not So Clear

CDC Issues Report on Suicide by Occupational Group

Research looking at connections between mental health and gun violence is not so clear cut, experts told California Healthline. There’s a murky truth that lies somewhere in between mental health advocates who assert that those who have such illnesses are not prone to violence, and those who advocate mandatory institutionalizations. About 60% of mass shooters have a history of serious mental disorders, and two-thirds had never been seen by a mental health professional. For the one-third who did get help, they carried out their deadly attacks anyway, experts said.The suicide rate among Americans of working age (between 16 and 64) increased 34% from 2000 to 2016 across 17 states, according to the CDC. Suicide rates among males were highest for those working in construction and extractions; for women, the rates were highest for those in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.