Military veterans can now receive free emergency mental health care

Veterans Hospital in Reno
Veterans Hospital in Reno(Terri Russell)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:03 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that military veterans experiencing acute suicidal crises may now receive emergency mental care for free.

The benefits include 30 days worth of inpatient care, 90 days of outpatient care, and help to get treatment and referrals after the emergency. This extends to both VA and non-VA health facilities.

This new policy aligns with the Biden Administration’s focus on decreasing suicides among veterans.

Scott Martin, a local veteran, said while free mental health is more appealing, mental health services have always been available. The difficult task is getting some veterans to ask for and to get the help they need.

“It’s detrimental to their military career, so they just suck it up and move on and don’t complain. They don’t talk to anybody... It’s that stigma of being weak,” he said.

These benefits are available to veterans regardless of their VA enrollment.

Veterans can also be connected to specialized help, by calling the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 and then pressing 1.

For more information, click here.