Veterans in suicidal crisis can go to any Veterans Affairs or non-Veterans Affairs health care facility to see emergency care for free.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days will be covered. Outpatient care will be free for up to 90 days, the department says.
“This expansion of care will save veterans’ lives, and there’s nothing more important than that," said Secretary for Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough.
Veterans who were discharged or released from active duty after more than 24 months are eligible for the service. It is not granted to those who were dishonorably discharged.
In addition to seeking help at any health care facility, veterans are encouraged to call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988. They can speak with a trained crisis specialist after pressing option 1.
The latest statistics show that there were 6,145 veteran suicides in 2020. That was a drop of 343 from the previous year, according to the 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. Fewer veterans died by suicide in 2020 than in any other year since 2006, the report notes.