President Trump signs executive order to combat veteran suicide

 
« Previous story
Next story »
 
President Trump signs executive order to combat veteran suicide

From Stripes:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday afternoon paving the way for servicemembers to be enrolled automatically with the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental health care when they leave the military – an attempt to eliminate barriers for transitioning troops to get treatment during their first year after service.

The order, titled "Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life," directs the VA, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan by March 9 on how to seamlessly provide mental health care to new veterans and implement that plan within 180 days.

Surrounded by VA and Defense Department officials, Trump said the order was "a historic step to make sure veterans are taken care of in the proper manner." He signed the order in a quick ceremony in the Oval Office.

On the White House website, the President stated that “[w]e must ensure that our veterans are given the care and support they so richly deserve. That is our unwavering commitment to those who served under the flag of the United States.

The Executive Order is also summarized and notes other initiatives:

CARING FOR VETERANS IN TRANSITION: President Donald J. Trump has signed a new Executive Order to ensure veterans have the resources they need as they transition back to civilian life.

  • President Trump has signed an Executive Order on “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.”
  • The Executive Order directs the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to:
    • Within 60 days, develop and submit a Joint Action Plan to provide “seamless access to mental health treatment and suicide prevention resources for transitioning uniformed service members in the year” following military service; and
    • Within 180 days, update the President on the implementation of the Joint Action Plan and outline further reforms to increase veterans’ access to mental health services.
  • The status report will include the progress of reforms implemented through the Joint Action Plan and any additional reforms that could help further address problems that obstruct veterans’ access to mental health treatment resources.

RETURNING VETERANS ARE AT RISK: Veterans in their first year after service are particularly vulnerable to mental health risks but often do not receive adequate care.

  • Most veterans’ experience in uniform increases their resilience and broadens the skills they bring to the civilian workforce.
  • Unfortunately, in some cases within the first year following transition, some veterans can have difficulties reintegrating into normal life after their military experiences and some tragically take their own lives.
  • Only 50 percent of returning service members who need mental health treatment seek it, and only about half of those who receive treatment receive adequate care, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • The suicide rate among veterans in the first year after their service is twice the average among veterans.
    • Veterans 3 to 12 months out of military service are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their active duty compatriots, while those up to 3 months out of service were 2.5 times as likely, according to a study from the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • Approximately 18.5 percent of veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

 The American Legion weighed in, first in an article on Military.com:

In response to the order, Louis Celli, national director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation at the American Legion, said, "Transition from the military to the civilian workforce is a challenge for any veteran.

"Essentially, transitioning veterans are looking to resolve four critical issues: where to live, what to do for employment, how to access health care, and how to find purpose in post-military life," he said in a statement.

"Some veterans have more difficulty with this than others, and we see this expansion of mental health care and suicide prevention programs to be part of an important safety net," Celli said.

And also in Task & Purpose:

“Transition from the military to the civilian workforce is a challenge for any veteran,” Lou Celli, the American Legion’s national director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation, told Task & Purpose via email. “Some veterans have more difficulty with this than others, and we see this expansion of mental health care and suicide prevention programs to be part of an important safety net.”

Just half of transitioning service members who need mental health treatment seek it — and only half who seek help actually receive adequate care, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The numbers for veterans in their first year out of uniform are stark, compared with their active duty peers: Recent vets are nearly three times more likely to commit suicide than those still in uniform, according to a study from the Naval Postgraduate School. And close to one-fifth of veterans returning from in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Let’s hope this goes a long way towards bringing an end to veteran suicide.

As T&P notes at the end of their article:

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

Posted in the burner | 4 comments
 
« Previous story
Next story »

 

* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.

Comments

"Welcome Home Initiative" for combat veterans has been very successful in assisting our combat veterans from WWII through Afghanistan in adjusting to civilian life and healing of combat stresses. Look up byhiswoundsministry.org.
It's free to vet & spouse.

Yours in Christ,
Doc

Add to the Executive Order..get Veteran's Healthcare out from under the Affordable Care Act.

Get Veteran's Healthcare out from under Affordable Care Act...known as Obamacare.

Clarity is an important aspect of this in my opinion. At the time that I enlisted, and I believe that it hasn't changed, regardless of the number of years you enlisted the contract was always for eight years. For example, you enlisted for what you believe to be only four years and while that is true it is for four years active and four years inactive reserve. In short, in a pinch if they needed you during those last four years you would be obligated, by contract, to put the uniform back on and become active again.

I had to say all that to get to my point regarding the clarity of this bill.

***POINT*** I don't want these folks to write the bill in such a way that only allows the veteran to get that care after the entire contract obligation has been fulfilled. Meaning, after they have finished up their inactive reserve responsibility now they can get the care needed instead of immediately upon discharge from active to inactive. I understand President Trump's message but, I don't believe the people he has assigned this task to have enough common sense to write it in a clear without creating a potentially huge loophole in the process.

I think this is an excellent outreach to our veterans and believe the President is sincere when he says that he cares about our veterans. It's time to continue moving forward with tweaking our process and procedural steps to get us where we need to be with the care of our veterans.

If you read all of this thank you for taking the time to do so. God bless our veterans, first responders, and country.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.