Veterans Administration to offer mental health help to those with less than honorable discharges

A new policy being initiated by the Veterans Administration will provide emergency mental health care for those with less than honorable discharges.

It fulfills a promise made by Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin who says he’s concerned about the growing number of suicides in this population. It’s said that out of the estimated 22 veterans committing suicide each day that the majority are those with less than honorable discharges, sometimes referred to as bad paper.

“Suicide prevention is my top clinical priority,” said Shulkin in a news release. “We want these former service members to know there is someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency – whether it means urgent care at a VA emergency department, a Vet Center or through the Veterans Crisis Line.”

Someone with a less than honorable discharge who’s in a mental health emergency may receive mental health care for up to 90 days. If it’s determined their issue dates back to a war injury the care may be extended.

The VA says the best thing for someone to do is call the Veterans Crisis hotline at 800-273-8255 and then press 1.

Or you can text 838255.

Veterans may be referred to local facilities or the medical center in Charleston.

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