President’s executive order supporting mental health care for transitioning service members now underway

According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research a large percentage of the vets who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. 19.5% of vets in these two categories have experienced a traumatic brain injury.

These three service related disorders alone have an enormous impact on the demand for veteran mental health treatment.

Veteran mental health services are essential in order to help our returning vets recover from their combat experiences and mental health issues related to their military service. There are a number of troubling statistics which show that enough is not being done and that many of our veterans are not receiving the care that they deserve in this area.

On May 31, 2018, the VA announced that the White House has approved an interagency plan to implement President Trump’s executive order supporting Veterans with mental health care and suicide-prevention resources during their transition from uniformed service to civilian life.

Signed by the president in January, the executive order directs VA, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collaborate to provide, to the extent consistent with law, seamless access to mental health care and suicide prevention resources for Veterans, with a focus on the first year after separation from military service.

“This collaborative effort represents a critical first step for ensuring that service members transitioning from active duty to Veteran status understand that VA, DOD and DHS are committed to easing the stress of transition by providing the best mental health care possible,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “Transitioning to civilian life is difficult and, ultimately, this effort will make it easier for our Veterans.” To read the actual article, click here.