Army veteran's TikTok goes viral after he details frustrating experience with the VA

Ret. Army Sgt. Joe Cantasano said he wants continuity of care with mental health providers

A retired Army sergeant is speaking out about his experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs after he posted an emotional TikTok video detailing his frustration with receiving continuity of care. 

Joe Cantasano said the VA has let him down multiple times in the past few years and the only thing he is trying to get is "continuity of care with mental health providers." "What the f--k? These doctors keep quitting. They keep switching," he said in the May 17 video.  

Cantasano shared that there was a breakdown in communication, and he was informed he couldn’t see the doctor who had been helping him work through some problems.

"Now I get to go back to some new f-----g doctor, and then they're going to open f-----g Pandora's box again because they're going to want to know everything, and then I'm going to have to live through working through that f-----g muck. I just want some f-----g continuity of care…," he said. 


The veteran told "Lawrence Jones Cross Country" it can take weeks or sometimes months for someone to finally get an appointment with a mental health provider. 

"If you want to see a mental health provider outside of the VA because you're, you know, put yourself in my shoes where you go through five [or] six providers over the course of 15 months for a multitude of different reasons…and you decide you want to find somebody in your community, somebody stable…have a continuity of care that you generally have to go through your primary care provider…So you make an appointment [and] that can take upwards of 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes a month, depending on where you’re at and if your VA is busy," he explained. 

"Then they will go ahead, go through and push you off to community care, and at which point community care can take up to two weeks to go ahead and contact you. Then they're going to go ahead and push out the referral to your prospective clinic. Then you have to wait for that clinic to accept a referral, review your file, onboard you and then make an appointment, you know, potentially two, three or four weeks, depending on how busy they are."


Cantasano posted an updated TikTok video saying the person responsible for the miscommunication had been fired. "I believe that I fell through the cracks and it was due to [the] negligence of an employee that's no longer with the physician that I want to go to," he said. 

He told host Lawrence Jones that he hopes his video helps other veterans who are in a similar situation. 

"What I do know is that at a very minimum, you know, putting this conversation on the table will hopefully get the ball rolling in the right direction. And I just feel like I know that my instance and my experience is not special," he said. "It happens hundreds of times a day that, you know, veterans are told that they can't see their primary mental health care provider any longer or [they are] no longer authorized to go back to that individual." 

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