Earlier this week, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order that will give better VA mental health benefits to transitioning Veterans. The expansion also aims to cut down the risk of veteran suicides.
With the new order, new veterans can take advantage of better VA mental health care benefits for at least a year after they leave the service.
President Trump directs all related departments like the Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Defense about 60 days to finalize the details and form a fixed plan before it takes effect on March 9.Get assistance from our experts.
Bridging the gap
VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin says that their first year from leaving the service is usually the most “critical part” of their transition back to civilian life.
During this period, a lot of these new Veterans suffer mental health issues. With these things in mind, these individuals are considered high-risk.
Secretary Shulkin promises that the new order will bridge that gap between military members and the VA.
To date, not all active duty members and Veterans have access to these benefits. However, the new order will aim to help address the struggles that they face while they’re transitioning to civilian life.
More specifically, only about 40 percent of Military Servicemembers currently qualify healthcare coverage through VA. The numbers drove them to aim for 100 percent coverage. After coming up with a solid plan and transition, every Veteran will be able to qualify and have better VA mental health benefits.
According to a senior administration official, the expansion of VA mental health benefits will be greater than $200 million per year. That will include developing new and improved treatment options for mental health concerns and suicide prevention.Learn more about Veterans’ benefits.
Decrease Veteran suicide cases
Back in 2016, USA Today shared a story about a Veteran’s struggle after the military and how it led him to take his own life.
Brandon Ketchum’s story was a testament that a lot of Veterans who suffer from mental issues after the military should be given all the help they deserve.
These are Veterans who struggle to have a sense of normalcy and a way to cure clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other struggles that new Veterans face after serving the military.
The story also showed that there is an evident and pressing need for more action on improving VA mental health benefits to address these issues, especially on suicide prevention.
In 2014 alone, there are 7,403 suicide cases. They also showed that 20 Veterans take their own life each day on average. These findings pushed President Trump to take action.
Through the new executive order, more opportunities will definitely be tackled to address the need for better post-military service mental health care.
The facts simply could not deny how alarming it has already become. Therefore it has become a goal for federal departments and government officials to prevent these things from happening.
We do not want any more stories like that to ever happen to any Veteran in the United States.
Thankfully, hope is not entirely lost. Although there’s definitely more work to be done, President Trump’s new executive order is definitely one step closer to making that goal a reality.Talk to our experts.