Trump Signs Executive Order to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday providing more mental health services and resources to veterans transitioning out of the military in an attempt to lower veteran suicides.

The order gives officials at the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security 60 days to create a joint plan of action to provide better access to mental health and suicide prevention resources.

The plan is an attempt to help the 60 percent of new veterans who do not qualify for healthcare enrollment.

According to the VA, approximately 20 veterans died by suicide each day in 2014. The same report found the risk of suicide to be 22 percent higher for veterans as opposed to the general public.

“These findings are deeply concerning, which is why I made suicide prevention my top clinical priority,” VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, said in a statement following a report on veteran suicides. “I am committed to reducing veteran suicides through support and education. We know that of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 are not under VA care. This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Photo by dangutsu

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

storm trooper star wars toy looking up at edison lightbulb

What 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Taught Me About My Mental Health

Last week, I finally got the chance to see the latest Star Wars film, “The Last Jedi.” Now, you either love or hate Star Wars, but I was a big fan of the late Carrie Fisher. The first anniversary of her death passed recently. In fact, her anniversary was the exact day I saw the film which [...]
woman lying in bed with headache or depression

What It's Like to Live With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Even though I live in the south, winters can be brutal on my body, mental health and self-image. I have finally come to terms with the fact I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a disorder that saps my energy and mood, beginning with the weather changes in fall and into winter. When my friends [...]
photo grid of celebrities who struggle with mental health

9 Celebrities Who Opened Up About Their Struggle With Mental Illness

1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. However, many people don’t seek help or share their experience. Here’s a list of 9 celebrities — some local — who have shared their struggle with mental illness and call for an end [...]
woman sitting on bed with laptop computer

How My Boss Helped My Fears About Taking Time Off for Mental Health

Just over a year ago, I was a dynamic, energetic and enthusiastic teacher. Passionate about my job, I placed huge importance on being efficient, organized and flexible and I rarely took time off. As a Year Leader of four classes, I expected the same of my team. In the name of improving, progressing and innovating, [...]