President signs executive order to improve mental health resources for Veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life

The Secretaries of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security will develop a plan to ensure Veterans’ mental health care for the year after separating from service



Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order titled, “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.” This executive order directs the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to develop a plan to ensure that all new Veterans receive mental health care for at least one year following their separation from service.

The three departments will work together and develop a joint action plan to ensure that the 60 percent of new Veterans who currently do not qualify for enrollment in health care — primarily due to lack of verified service connection related to the medical issue at hand — will receive treatment and access to services for mental health care for one year following their separation from service.

“As service members transition to Veteran status, they face higher risk of suicide and mental health difficulties,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin. “During this critical phase, many transitioning service members may not qualify for enrollment in health care. The focus of this executive order is to coordinate federal assets to close that gap.”

The Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security will work to expand mental health programs and other resources to new Veterans to the year following departure from uniformed service, including eliminating prior time limits and:

  • Expanding peer community outreach and group sessions in the VA whole health initiative from 18 whole health flagship facilities to all facilities. Whole health includes wellness and establishing individual health goals.
  • Extending the Department of Defense’s “Be There Peer Support Call and Outreach Center” services to provide peer support for Veterans in the year following separation from the uniformed service.
  • Expanding the Department of Defense’s Military One Source, which offers resources to active duty members, to include services to separating service members to one year beyond service separation.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the VA to ensure Veterans who have served our country continue to receive the important mental health care and services they need and deserve,” said Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis.

“The Department of Homeland Security is where many Veterans find a second opportunity to serve their country — nearly 28 percent of our workforce has served in the armed forces, in addition to the 49,000 active duty members of the United States Coast Guard,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

“This critically important executive order will provide our service members with the support they need as they transition to civilian life. These dedicated men and women have put their lives on the line to protect our nation and our American way of life, and we owe them a debt we can never repay. We look forward to working with the VA and DOD to implement the President’s EO,” said Secretary Nielsen.

“In signing this executive order, President Trump 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,” said Secretary Shulkin.

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Comments

  1. Harold R. Simpson    

    You’re right. The president should have done nothing.

  2. Harold R. Simpson    

    I hope this one year of eligibility is the beginning and not the end for treatment. Those who need further treatment should receive it and those who don’t will have a year to decide.

  3. Jon Dannaway    

    I really appreciate it but 1 YEAR?

  4. Rose    

    They are lying all the time.

  5. Lea Jones    

    One year?
    One year?

    That you folks would pat yourselves on the back for this is emblematic of how completely dialed in to PR and how detached from actual HELP this administration really is.

    Sickening.
    Disgusting.

    1. Liz    

      Agree.
      Agree.

      Thank You for speaking the Truth.

  6. Nanette Nyman    

    That’s exactly how it was for my sons. I’m just trying to get them help now and they were doing good when they got home from Iraq in 2011. Also cannot get them to approve dissability so they can have an income

  7. Mary    

    VET CENTER PROGRAM (https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/Vet_Center_Services.asp)

    Services

    What is readjustment counseling?

    Readjustment counseling is a wide range of psycho social services offered to eligible Veterans, Service members, and their families in the effort to make a successful transition from military to civilian life. They include:
    •Individual and group counseling for Veterans, Service members, and their families
    •Family counseling for military related issues
    •Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death
    •Military sexual trauma counseling and referral
    •Outreach and education including PDHRA, community events, etc.
    •Substance abuse assessment and referral
    •Employment assessment & referral
    •VBA benefits explanation and referral
    •Screening & referral for medical issues including TBI, depression, etc.

    Does VA have readjustment counseling for family members?

    Family members of combat Veterans and Service members have been eligible for Vet Center readjustment counseling services for military related issues since 1979.

    Am I eligible for Vet Center readjustment counseling?

    If you, or a family member, served in any combat zone and received a military campaign ribbon (Vietnam, Southwest Asia, OEF, OIF, etc.) then both you and your family are eligible for Vet Center services.

    Where is counseling offered?

    VA’s readjustment counseling is provided at community-based Vet Centers located in easily accessible neighborhoods near Veterans, Service members, and their families, yet separate from VA organizational sites to ensure confidential counseling and reduce barriers to care. All Vet Center services are prepaid through military service. Contact your nearest Vet Center through information provided in the Vet Center Directory or listings in your local blue pages. Vet Center staff are available toll free and around the clock at 877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).

    Are Vet Centers open during non-traditional hours?

    Yes, all Vet Centers maintain non-traditional appointment schedules, after normal business hours, to accommodate the schedules of Veterans, Service members, and their family members.

  8. Rene' Sharrock    

    We just buried my 28 year old son on Friday. He committed suicide in my home. Served in Afghanistan. He had mental health issues before the army (was told by the army recruiter to keep that part quiet on the entrance forms), during and after. He also had a titanium rod in his leg.
    He had a BCD (bad conduct discharge) and subsequently was homeless for years. No benefits. Period. So, I think that the following should be a new regulation “ANY veteran that has served in a combat zone defending the United States of America should be allowed to be treated at any V.A. hospital E.R. REGARDLESS OF DISCHARGE STATUS.

    1. Nanette Nyman    

      That’s exactly how it was for my sons. I’m just trying to get them help now and they were doing good when they got home from Iraq in 2011. Also cannot get them to approve dissability so they can have an income

  9. almuzer    

    it’s not ”in the first year after separation” that is the problem
    something triggered my PTSD and it took over my life 5 years after ETS
    the first year, while stressful, isn’t when it hits the hardest

  10. Joshua Sherwood    

    This is gonna help only a tiny percentage of veterans and only for a shot period of time. They obviously have no clue how long it takes to get an appointment and then be seen by a actual doctor in person. I hope they have already hired more personal and doctors to accomplish this new agenda because if they didn’t then it will fail before it even begins.

  11. Josue Colon Ponce    

    What about the veterans that’s been out for several years.

  12. Lucia Nicoleta Glod    

    Full thank of to from to and To Mr Prsident Trump from sustenable and recognize my effort and worckand feedback.

  13. Sephiroth    

    Do away with Neuro-restoritive. They dont care about the veteran but the money. Put them on the do not associate list. Theyll feed you a convincing story but not follow through what they advertise.

  14. Sephiroth    

    Do away with Neuro-restoritive. The dont care about the veteran but the money. Put them on the do not associate list

  15. Ismael Rivera    

    I am not excited of what I been hearing on the news lately. But as a veteran I always want the best for our military. The President’s actions towards our military veterans and the VA has been great.

    1. Lea Jones    

      Ismael

      our president’s words have been fine.

      His ACTIONS don’t match the rhetoric.

      ONE YEAR for psych services? ONE YEAR?

      Freaking absurd.

  16. August Jones    

    Once a veteran gets a mental health medical record thousands of housing, employment, and life opportunities are forever banned to them, many by law.

  17. TechtoStart    

    its is very best way for calling voters

  18. Michael Buchanan    

    What about Veterans that retire then volunteer as a medic and firefighter.wreck a firetruck ( roll it) get Severe Traumatic Brain Injury spend 7weeks in a coma .wake up four years later va hospital writes a letter having his drivers license suspended he is still trying to get it reinstated

  19. Cynthia W. Miller    

    I have already filled in my comment.

  20. Cynthia W. Miller    

    It will be such a blessing for all that have served all people in the USA should thank this organization that helps ladies and gentlemen that place their lives on the lines of duty to keep us all safe and secure. May God continue to bless their lives mental and physical health in their needs.
    I worked on President Trump’s campaign by phone in little southern town, and he had one of the very best systems for calling voters it was so easy to work and covered the entire nation by every state and county and was covered by volunteers. When something worked that smoothly, it would most likely work for VA departments, and it would free up a person being in person at the sites of hospitals all over America. My volunteering would be in line to help. Ask President for more information he loves this country, and he loves to help.
    Thank you,

    1. Bob Ledbetter    

      Maybe now I can get my share of the PTSD allotment since 1973 fatal car accident in Navy in Puerto Rico ,thanks R Ledbetter (last four redacted),

    2. Lea Jones    

      This new plan is NOT an improvement. ONE YEAR of psych services? PTSD often doesn’t really flare up until 10 YEARS later. Just a little detail veterans know. Politicians and those who lick politicians’ nuclear buttons don’t know anything about the real world.

Comments are closed.