Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Trump to sign executive order expanding veterans' mental health services

Trump to sign executive order expanding veterans' mental health services

Amid a slew of issues vying for attention at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Trump announced an executive order to increase access to mental care for recently discharged service members. This deadline gives the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs 60 days to develop the new health care plans.

"Currently, up until your executive order, only 40 percent of those servicemembers had coverage in the VA to get mental health", Shulkin said.

Trump signed laws previous year aimed at expediting the appeals process for veterans' benefits and extending the so-called choice program, which allows veterans more choices about where they get health care when the VA can't provide it. "It's a very sad situation".

"We want them to get the highest care and the care they so richly deserve", Trump said.

"Now, when somebody doesn't do the job at the VA, we fire that person", Trump said. It calls for "seamless access to mental health treatment and suicide prevention resources for transitioning service members" in the year following military service, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told reporters that the new order will take effect March 9.

- Expand the DoD's Military OneSource, which offers resources to active duty members, to include services to separating service members to one year beyond service separation.

Fisker EMotion arrives at CES before it goes on sale in 2019
Fisker has revealed the Emotion electric luxury saloon at this year's Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ), in production guise. The roof, meanwhile, features a large piece of electrochromic glass that offers four-zone adjustability.

Under the president's order, the three departments will come up with a plan to provide US servicemen and women with 12 months of mental health benefits after they leave active duty.

Veterans who received an other-than-honorable discharge will continue to be eligible only for emergency services, officials said. But it is expected to include the expansion of peer group sessions from 18 of VA's largest "Whole Health" facilities to the rest of them, according to VA.

The plan is expected to cost "a couple hundred million dollars a year", paid with existing funds from the VA and Defense Department's budgets, the Washington Post reports.

The Pentagon also will look for ways to start the transition process for service members earlier during their time in uniform, the official said.

The Trump administration is making strides to help veterans transition from military to civilian life, particularly those at greater risk of suicide.

According to the VA, approximately 20 veterans died by suicide each day in 2014.

Like this: