MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Few services locally and a long way to go to get care. That’s how advocates describe in-patient services for veterans in the Mobile area. Now a Mobile non-profit is asking for veterans to join them on a trip next week to Montgomery to get approval for more health services locally.

Veterans Recovery Resources sits right next door to their big project, the remodeling of an old school building on Spring Hill Avenue meant to be turned into a 34-bed residential detox and treatment facility for veterans.

“Veterans are dying by suicide at an astronomical rate compared to civilians,” said Veterans Recovery Resources Executive Director John Kilpatrick. “We have a mental health crisis and we had it before the pandemic.”

The next step in the complicated process is the approval of a “certificate of need” by the State Health Planning and Development agency. A public hearing is slated for July 20. Veterans Recovery Resources is asking veterans and others to join them to make a statement.

“When one person stands up and has a cause it’s often ignored but when you have 50 folks take the time to show up to let people know this is needed,” said Kilpatrick. It’s been a long and difficult process to get health services like this for veterans in the Mobile area in place.

“In a lot of ways it needs to be and that’s why the state has the mandate to regulate these things, but we’ve gotten a lot of help, experts volunteering their time to get this done,” said Kilpatrick. If approved VRR’s facility is still months away–and veterans have to travel to places like Biloxi or further for in-patient services.

The hearing is next Wednesday, July 20th at 10 am. A bus will leave from Veterans Recovery Resources at 6 am that day. If you need a ride or more information call 251-405-3677. You can also visit Veterans Recovery Resources online through this link. Members of the South Alabama Veterans Council are also calling on people to support this trip.

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