Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

President signs executive order on mental health care options for vets

Barbara County Fire Department mud and debris flow on the roadway due to heavy rain in Montecito. Calif. Tuesday Jan. 9 2018. Heavy rains pounding Southern California for a second day are causing floods and Trump aides: No need for a psychiatric exam, president is 'sharp as a tack'
Johnnie Parks | 10 January, 2018, 11:23

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.

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday providing more mental health services and resources to veterans transitioning out of the military in an attempt to lower veteran suicides.

"That is just an unacceptable number, and we are focused on doing everything we can to prevent these veterans' suicides", Shulkin said.

"We want them to get the highest care and the care that they so richly deserve, and I've been working very hard on that with [VA Secretary David J. Shulkin] and with everybody. That's crucial", said Kayda Keleher.

The order, "Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life", is specifically geared toward combating veteran suicide, Military Times' Leo Shane first reported.

Shulkin also announced the department will adopt the same computer programs for electronic health records used by the Department of Defense in an effort to make the transition more seamless. 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.

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"I honestly use mental health services at VA and I would rather use them there than in the private sector", said Keleher. The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security are required to establish new plans within 60 days. He says no cost should be spared when it comes to mental health.

Federal officials estimate that about 20 veterans commit suicide daily. "A one-year commitment may work for many veterans, but may not for others", said Brown.

If you're thinking about suicide, are anxious about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.

Trump signed the order in the Oval Office during a short ceremony with Shulkin, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chief of Staff John Kelly and other senior officials.

The administration expects this executive order to take effect on March 9 of this year.

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