Kanani has a great post up here about mental health and the difficulties of getting and keeping good medical care, especially for our troops. Kanani is a long time health care professional who is married to an active duty Army surgeon so she knows what she's talking about. She's also intelligent, caring and concerned. Go read.
Our family has up close and personal experience with the issues surrounding PTSD and it's long term effects. PTSD is very real and very serious. I can't say what the specific issues were that led to this veteran ultimately losing his life in a shootout with Salt Lake City police but it is all to easy and common for people with serious mental health issues to be overlooked by an overburdened system. Brandon S. Barrett, the SLC officer who was forced to take his life and indeed all veterans everywhere deserve better.
As a police officer of more than 24 years experience I dealt with literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of mentally and emotionally disturbed persons, both veteran and civilian. They have a depressing tendency to fall between the societal cracks. In most every case there was literally nothing we could do. There is no system in place to compel those on the fringe to seek professional help sans concrete proof of violence, suicide or an inability to provide for their own very basic needs. Very limited private sector assets and minimal public agency intervention are available. The 72 hour hold law (5150 W&I) is a joke. Most of the patients I placed on hold were out before I got the paperwork finished. I have seen these people die by the handful.
I will add my voice to Kanani's. I wholeheartedly support persons and organizations who seek to reverse this sad state of affairs and construct a system of support for veterans and civilians alike who desperately need intervention and treatment.