As of January 17, 2023, the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) has begun offering emergency services for veterans suffering from suicidal thoughts. Any suicidal veterans will be able to go to any healthcare facility, whether in the VA network or not, and seek emergency care. This measure will potentially do a great deal to help veterans struggling with mental health issues who are in need of emergency psychological care.
What is This New Policy?
This new policy will allow veterans to seek emergency medical care at any medical facility across the United States, whether it is part of the VA medical system or not. It also adds other types of support to ensure veterans are cared for while they are recovering from their psychological issues. This new policy was implemented as part of the VA’s broader strategy for preventing suicide among veterans.
What Does the Policy Do?
First and foremost, the new policy ensures that veterans will be able to seek emergency care at any medical facility if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts. In addition, the policy also pays for up to 30 days of inpatient or emergency care, as well as up to 90 days of outpatient care. This means that veterans do not need to worry as much about being burdened with the costs of seeking treatment for their problems.
Why Was the Policy Passed?
Veterans are at a substantially higher risk of committing suicide compared to non-veterans, due in no small part to their higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological issues. Unfortunately, many veterans also hesitate to seek psychological care for any issues they are suffering from, and often struggle to obtain care even when they seek it out. This policy intends to address these issues by making emergency psychological help easier to get.
How Does This Impact Disabled Veterans?
This measure is especially important for disabled veterans, who often struggle with mental health issues more than other veterans. Disabled veterans with PTSD, in particular, are at a high risk of suicidal ideation, and without this kind of support, they are much more likely to take their own lives. The hope is that making these services more available and less costly will help to save some veterans’ lives.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.