Mental health care, suicide prevention plan for transitioning veterans moves forward

The White House approved a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan, announced May 31, to implement the president’s executive order to assist veterans with mental health care and suicide prevention resources as they transition into civilian life.

The executive order directs the VA and Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to collaborate on an interagency plan that will provide “seamless access to mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans, with a focus on the first year after separation from military service,” citing the difficulties many veterans face when transitioning.

“This collaborative effort represents a critical first step for ensuring that servicemembers transitioning from active duty to veteran status understand that VA, DoD and DHS are committed to easing the stress of transition by providing the best mental health care possible,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke in the release. “Transitioning to civilian life is difficult and, ultimately, this effort will make it easier for our Veterans.”