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Trump Signs Executive Order to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

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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

Originally published: January 9, 2018
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