President Trump signs the executive order to empower Veterans and end Veteran suicide


shadow

President Trump recently signed the Executive Order on a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide, or PREVENTS.

Watch the video.

“Our mission is to mobilize every level of American society to save the lives of our great Veterans and support our Veterans in need,” the president said.

Surrounded by Veterans service organizations, state and local Veteran leaders, and those who have lost a friend or family member to suicide – the president pledged his support.

“To every Veteran I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you. You will never ever be forgotten, we are with you all the way,” the president said.

The executive order creates a new cabinet level task force co-chaired by VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. The task force will create a comprehensive public health road map that brings together local government along with private sector to improve the quality of life for our Veterans and turn the tide on the Veteran suicide crisis.

Executive Order on Veteran SuicideU.S. Navy Veteran Frank Larkin, who lost his son, U.S. Navy Veteran Ryan Larkin to suicide said “We need a holistic approach with a heightened sense of urgency to push scientific research.”

“We hear these stories consistently – and it takes the entire community to be able to do this,” said U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Thomas Winkle, director of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families.

The executive order calls for additional state and local community engagement to ensure resources are working together for collective impact.

“It is about pulling together the resources of the federal government, our states and localities our charities non- government organizations and coming together with a road map and resources to make sure we no longer have those 19,” said Wilkie.

VA’s Veterans Experience Office will support this executive order and supports the existing National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide by leveraging state-of-art best practices in customer service data, tools, technology and engagement.

The 153 Community Veterans Engagement Boards across the country serve as community integrators for state and local resources, allowing VA to listen and support local initiatives. These boards are actively involved in the BeConnected campaign created by the Arizona Coalition for Military Families. These efforts also include the OMHSP/SAMHSA Governors Challenge.

The White House / VA Hotline conducts warm-hand offs to the Veterans Crisis Line, and new contact relationship management software has been deployed to the crisis line to enhance response. The Veterans Signals survey allows Veterans to provide feedback, and is able to identify Veterans in crisis for direct crisis line assistance.

Seventy percent of those who die by suicide have not received or sought care from the VA in the previous two year, and so increasing access and awareness of VA’s care, benefits, and services is also critical.

Tools such as VA.gov, the VA Welcome Kit, and a unified knowledge management library across all VA contact centers and with state directors of departments of Veterans affairs increases access and referrals to VA services.

Veterans Experience Action Centers are being hosted around the country to provide local one-stop destinations to provide all VA and local resources available, including direct claims assistance and healthcare enrollment.

“I’ve said many times that the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to remind our fellow citizens why they sleep soundly at night. They sleep soundly at night because of the sacrifices of a select number of their fellow Americans,” Wilkie said.

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. James Tobleck    

    Obviously the other vets agree with me that no one is listening to the individual vets. When Battle Creek keeps making every doctor order an appeal for the vet just who the hell do you Washington jerks think your helping? 42 years and counting yet you Washington bastards co UK ld clean up B.C. management but you don the. The f(redacted)g worthless IG w(redacted)s AT B.C. hasnt done a damn thing. Your CHAPTA system keeps erasing my message. Same as the VA

  2. John Sorrell    

    I hear all of you and this is old news. The problem has always been the VA leadership. most of the directors have never seen action, let alone been disabled either temporary or permanent. The VA administration needs a vested leader; someone who has experience with the system from the receivers side of the counter.
    There are a wealth of senior prior-service military leaders (Col, Gen, Top Sgt) who are qualified to lead the VA with an understanding of the needs of service members. If the powers to be were really concerned with the physical and mental well being of “our veterans”, they would vet and appoint the right person for the job, not a loquacious bureaucrat on a string.. They would empower that appointee to assemble the staff that he needs and provide the necessary resources to get the organization running efficiently, so that “our veterans” will receive the benefits that they were promised, and have earned.

    I am the Son of a 24 year disabled vet. The VA refuses to recognize that my father suffers from depression due to multiple service connected disabilities that causes him constant pain, lost of mobility, and a home bound quality of life. His appeal has been going on since 2010.

  3. Icaru Doser    

    They are gathering all, local government, businesses to come against vets in the name of help.
    They already have vets on super surveillance programs, and vets are discriminated against in things
    like housing because of their medical records being shared, that they have no right to share.
    This is just a way to tighten the noose, now everywhere a vet who has sought help before goes the community
    is alerted & hyper vigilant because they have been made to believe they are a danger to the community & this means to them this person may perform a mass shooting or something just as bad like being framed.
    Right now, the vet is looked at as though they are a strange specimen and people are afraid to talk to them or have them in their businesses. Now its going to get worse.

  4. Vincent Kiper    

    this is what i am talking about I have typed this out two times before. I agree with the “deny deny deny until we die “statement, when you fill out a claim- service connected when you were there you are told that you are not to receive that what you have earned.

  5. Tim    

    In my opiniin, this is nothing but a marketing scheme to make it APPEAR the VA cares about veterans. A good friend and fellow veteran committed suicide about 3 weeks ago. He was prescribed medication for a service connected disability, which was working great to aleviate his pain until about 2 years ago. The VA; in its knee jerk reaction to the opiod “crisis” stopped the treatment , which had been working well and enabled my friend to function without pain for the most part. The VA failed to provide a suitable substitute treatment for my friend and he could no longer live with the pain so he killed himself because of it.

    1. Richard Hoffman    

      Tim

      I am in the same boat. I was hurt in IRAQ, was treated by the VA with opiods for 14 years and it was working for me. Then they took them away about a year ago and I’ve been living a life of hell ever since. No one cares. I can’t go on like this much longer.

  6. Vincent Kiper    

    I agree with the ” deny deny deny until we die ” statement, when you fill out a claim -service connected when you were there. you are told you are not to receive what you have earned.

  7. Vincent Kiper    

    I agree with ” deny deny deny until we die ” statement when you fill out a claim for something from the time that you were there you are told ” you are not to receive what you have earn.

  8. Margomarie Marin    

    I am a female Army wounded warrior veteran. How does one become a part of the veterans experience teams to gelp other vets?

  9. Maine Wife    

    Cam Cook has the real scoop on this.. the ‘executive order’ is nothing but window dressing. The VA gets millions of dollars for Suicide Prevention Education and they don’t bother to spend it. Doesn’t anyone remember the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act from 4 years ago? This is just another distraction. Neither the VA nor the White House cares.

  10. Billy R    

    It’s way too late, I have been telling the VA, the White House VA team along with the Under Secretary of the VA’s office the past couple of years in emails that I sent to them and speaking with them that the VA doesn’t care about the Veterans, they have made it perfectly clear to me on several occasions that they wish I would just quit trying so hard with my claims and other things they don’t need the aggregation from the Vets calling and trying to get information over and over. 2 departments told me that it would not hurt their feelings if I quit and just give up because it would be 1 less extra person they have to deal with. I hear all lot of Vets in the halls say they can’t take the way there being treated like I have been treated for over 33 years and I have physical proof this past year that they refused to even use, and these Vets say they’re going to leave because they can’t deal; with this anymore. The problem is and always has been being the VA system. They refused any service for me for the first 23 years which made the injuries permanent and now at 33 years I’m at 100% but it took 28 years to do it with all the evidence from all the records that the VA didn’t want to use. And I should be DEAD now because I tried suicide twice but somehow someone was looking out for me. So President Trump signing the executive order to empower Veterans and end Veteran suicide is a little too late and not going to do enough to help in my opinion.
    This is just my opinion from what I had to live and deal with and heard from fellow Veterans for 33 years. There are other stories that have possibly better turn outs than mine but this is mine and just my 2 cents.

  11. Kelly lee Berrett    

    What about the people from Camp Lejeune thet drink contaminated water water that causes cancers nerve damage miscarriages low birth weight. I could go on with more but that’s enough how about helping them or should I say me thanks for listening temper fi

  12. Wayne Melberg    

    Smoke and mirrors and POLITICS. Wanna fix the VA? End the cycle of government as usual. You know what I mean….SNAFU.
    This discussion has gone on since I got back in 2005. SNAFU. Its STILL being discussed!!!
    How do you fix it? Cant. Warriors will be cared for when its profitable for somebody.
    In US government, it’s about money…nothing else. SNAFU. I tried to see someone….but I guess I wasn’t damaged enough. My situation would be “evaluated by the committee…” Never got an appointment or a call. VA complaints???Still going on. SNAFU.
    So….my take? Nothing will change. $$$$$$$$$ only thing politicians care about. “Smoke gets in your eyes……”

  13. JOHN LITTLE EAGLE - FREEMAN    

    1. Contact the Congressman serving your District/State.
    Let him get involved in assisting you to see the appropriate person at your local VA. It’s PART OF HIS JOB !
    2. Get a diagnosis and get the help from the VA that you have earned with your service.
    3. Call your local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Service Representative (look in local phone book under Govt.) and arrange an appointment to speak with them in filing your claim. You do nothing – allow the DAV do it for you (that’s what they DO).

    Good Luck Brother.

    SEMPER FI
    SSgt. JJ Little Eagle – Freeman
    Service Connected Disabled Veteran
    U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam War

    1. Darin    

      With all due respect, I have never encountered ANY VSO that was worth the time to it takes to hear them say their name. I don’t need a VSO for my claim, but I have tried to help several Veterans and have linked them up with other VSOs from multiple organizations. 100% of the time, including the VSO from the DAV, was absolutely worthless. I would caution any veteran from counting on a VSO for assistance.

  14. JOHN LITTLE EAGLE - FREEMAN    

    Contact the Congressman serving your District/State.
    Let him get involved in assisting you to see the appropriate person at your local VA. Get a diagnosis and get the help from the VA that you have earned with your service.
    Good Luck Brother.
    P.S. Call your local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Service Representative (look in local phone book under Govt.) and arrange an appointment to speak with them in filing your claim. You do nothing – allow the DAV do it for you (that’s what they DO).

    SEMPER FI
    SSgt. JJ Little Eagle – Freeman
    Service Connected Disabled Veteran
    U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam War

  15. Brian Russ    

    Until VA ends the “Deny, Deny, Deny, until we die” perception we will not be able to reduce suicides as much as we need to.

  16. Eugene M Geyen    

    I was affected by agent Orange I have has tremors for many years when will our government and our president stand up for me and many othe veterans who have fought in the war???
    I struggle with daily functions and no one want to help very disappointing in our government and president please help. PLEASE ggandkd@aol.com (redacted)

  17. Cam Cook    

    The VA has a 50 million dollar media budget for raising awareness for suicide prevention which it was widely reported a fraction $56,000 was spent last year…that is a total disconnect to this article. Spend the money to get the word out about resources already there!!!!!

    1. Darin Short    

      I wanted to ask the same question…. The VA continues to dodge the truth and refuse to address the real issues that either directly or indirectly cause Veterans to die prematurely. No one, including the new director, will answer why the VAs access to care web site is grossly inaccurate when listing wait times at VA facilities! It is BS!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*