Trump orders more mental health care options for veterans

Trump orders more mental health care options for veterans

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday providing more mental health services and resources to veterans transitioning out of the military in an attempt to lower veteran suicides.

A senior administration official told reporters the "opt out" strategy will cut down on vets who say they have trouble finding information or access to current mental health programs. He signed the order in a quick ceremony in the Oval Office. That plan must then be implemented within 120 days.

All troops transitioning out of service will have mental health coverage for 12 months.

Shulkin called the number "unacceptable" and said preventing suicides was his agency's "single top priority".


The federal government estimates 20 veterans take their own lives per day, at a rate significantly higher than the rest of the population.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in VA news release that his department looks forward to continuing to work with VA and making sure that veterans receive the care they need. "I am committed to reducing veteran suicides through support and education".

The Defense Department also will expand the services of its Military OneSource program to apply to veterans for a full year after leaving the military, rather than 180 days, said one USA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the plan's specifics.

However, in 2017 the VA under Director Dr. David Shulkin opened up emergency mental health services for all former military members, including those with "other than honorable" discharges. We know that of the 20 suicides a day that we reported past year, 14 are not under VA care.

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