Source: Veterans Administration
Veterans in acute suicidal crisis will be able to go to any Veterans Administration (VA) or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost — including inpatient or crisis residential care — for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.
This expansion of care will help prevent Veteran suicide by guaranteeing no cost, world-class care to Veterans in times of crisis. It will also increase access to acute suicide care for up to 9 million veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA.
Preventing Veteran suicide is a top priority the VA: this effort is a key part of their 10-year National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide and the current administration’s plan for Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide. In September, the VA released the 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, which showed that veteran suicides decreased in 2020 for the second year in a row, and that fewer Veterans died by suicide in 2020 than in any year since 2006.
Eligible individuals, regardless of VA enrollment status, are:
– Veterans who were discharged or released from active duty after more than 24 months of active service under conditions other than dishonorable.
– Former members of the armed forces, including reserve service members, who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation either directly or by operating an unmanned aerial vehicle from another location who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
– Former members of the armed forces who were the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces.
The VA has also announced or continued efforts such as establishing the phone number 988 as a way for veterans to quickly connect with caring, qualified crisis support 24/7; proposing a new rule that would reduce or eliminate co-payments for Veterans at risk of suicide; conducting an ongoing public outreach effort on firearm suicide prevention and lethal means safety; and leveraging a national Veteran suicide prevention awareness campaign, “Don’t Wait. Reach Out.”
Veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system, VA benefits or health care to connect.
If you’re a veteran in crisis or concerned about one, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive 24/7 confidential support — Dial 988 (Then Press 1); chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat; or text 838255.