An announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs says a new policy is now in place for all US vets. The new policy provides free inpatient care for “veterans in suicidal crisis” up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. “This expansion of care will save Veterans’ lives, and there’s nothing more important than that,” VA Secretary for Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said. The expanded care is designed to “prevent veteran suicide by guaranteeing no cost, world-class care to veterans in times of crisis.” Vets in need of mental health care can go to any VA or even non-VA facilities and they don’t even have to be enrolled in the VA system to receive care.
As long as the vets weren’t dishonorably discharged and had over two years of service, they qualify. The new police also includes veterans who were the victim of sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual harassment while serving.
According to CNN: “The policy will also allow the VA to make “appropriate referrals” after a period of emergency suicide care, determine veterans’ eligibility for other services and benefits from the VA, and refer veterans who received emergency care to other VA programs and benefits.”
I personally believe our vets should receive free healthcare for life, depending on their terms of service, or if they were injured in combat in ANY way, but that’s just my opinion. And while this isn’t lifetime full healthcare, it is absolutely a step in the right direction. Addressing our vets mental health care has been woefully lacking, but hopefully that’s changing and will keep improving.
Please share this with every vet you know, and remember in times of suicidal emergencies to call The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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