Nearly 50,000 Veterans Used Free Emergency Suicide Prevention in First Year of Program, VA Says

February 09, 2024

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

CBS News

Nearly 50,000 veterans accessed free crisis care in the first year of a new policy from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Under that policy, military veterans experiencing a suicidal crisis can receive free treatment at any VA or non-VA health facility. Veterans do not have to be enrolled in the VA system to receive this benefit, which includes free emergency suicide care, transportation, and follow-up care for up to 30 days of inpatient and 90 days of outpatient care. The policy also applies to veterans who experienced sexual trauma while in service. A 2023 report from VA found the suicide rate among veterans was 71.8% higher than among non-veterans after adjusting for age and sex. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement, “We want all veterans to know they can get the care they need, when they need it, no matter where they are.”

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