Words by Tess Becker
To address an ongoing mental health crisis for US veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that military veterans in an “acute suicidal crisis” can receive free treatment including inpatient care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.
The expanded care is meant to “prevent veteran suicide by guaranteeing no cost, world-class care to veterans in times of crisis.”
Anyone seeking care can go to any VA or non-VA healthcare facility and doesn’t have to be a part of the VA system to receive care.
“Veterans in suicidal crisis can now receive the free, world-class emergency health care they deserve – no matter where they need it, when they need it, or whether they’re enrolled in VA care,” said VA Secretary for Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. “This expansion of care will save Veterans’ lives, and there’s nothing more important than that.”
Anyone who has at least two years of service and left the military for any reason other than a dishonorable discharge will be eligible for the help. It will also extend to former service members who served in the Reserves who served “more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation.”