Indianapolis VA Hospital Under Fire for Email Making Fun of Veterans

The email contained an image of a toy elf hanging himself with holiday lights.

The email was sent by social worker Robin Paul to her staff within the Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic at the Roudebush VA Medical Center.

The news comes at a time when suicide among military veterans claims an estimated 22 lives a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a statement released by a facility spokeswoman, Paul , the social worker who sent the email, said: "I would like to sincerely apologize for the email message and I take full responsibility for this poor judgment. ... I hold all Veterans and military personnel in the highest regard and am deeply remorseful for any hurt this may have caused."

In an emailed statement, the hospital called Paul's email "totally inappropriate."

"The Indianapolis VA Medical is committed to treating our Veterans and the health conditions they face with the utmost respect and compassion," the hospital said. "We apologize to our Veterans and take suicide and mental health treatment seriously, striving to provide the highest quality."

The VA would not say whether Paul had been fired, only that the matter had been handled.