Latest Trump administration executive order targets veteran mental health

US President Donald Trump's mental health has been questioned

US President Donald Trump's mental health has been questioned

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. This deadline gives the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs 60 days to develop the new health care plans.

Shulkin said about 265,000 service members transition out of the military each year, and the cost of providing them with extended mental health coverage "will be in the magnitude of a couple hundred million dollars per year" coming out out of the Defense Department and VA budgets.

The order will take effect March 9 and is expected to provide all new veterans with mental-health care for at least a year after they leave the military.

"That is just an unacceptable number and we are focused on doing everything we can to try to prevent these veteran suicides", Shulkin said during a phone conference with reporters January 9. It calls for automatic enrollment in mental health care for one year after discharge, regardless of combat experience. "It's a very sad situation".

Veterans who have left the military within 3 to 12 months earlier are three times more likely to commit suicide than service members in active duty, according to a study from the Naval Postgraduate School.

In signing this executive order, Shulkin said, the president has provided "clear guidance to further ensure our veterans and their families know that we are focusing on ways to improve their ability to move forward and achieve their goals in life after service".

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

"We will not rest until all of America's great veterans receive the care they've earned through their incredible service and sacrifice to our country", Trump said.

- Expand peer community outreach and group sessions in the VA Whole Health initiative from 18 Whole Health flagship facilities to all facilities.

White House officials said the Department of Defense also plans to start the transition process sooner, so it's less abrupt, although the details and timetables are still being worked out. His focus is on eliminating the statistic showing 20 veteran suicides every day.

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.

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