Potential Mental Health Coverage for Veterans with Other-Than-Honorable Discharges
On March 7, 2017, VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin testified in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing. During the course of the hearing, Secretary Shulkin discussed the appalling numbers of former service members who are lost to suicide. He noted, “We know that the rate of death by suicide amond Veterans who do not use VA case is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care.”
Secretary Shulkin testified that the VA’s goal is to save lives. To that end, he announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former service members with other-than-honorable discharges. An estimated more than 500,000 veterans have OTH discharges. This proposed initiative would allow for these veterans to seek treatment at a VA emergency department, Vet Center, or contact the Veterans Crisis Line.
We hope that this initiative goes forward and that hundreds of thousands of Veterans gain access to much-needed medical services.
Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 877-539-1739 (press 1) or text 838255.