The White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing to meet their vows to veterans and their families. President Barack Obama will implement 19 executive measures with the goal to serve the veterans in terms of mental health care provision. For those who are leaving military service, the transition process from the DoD to Veteran Affairs will also be addressed.
Here is a breakdown of the 19 executive measures:
Steps to Improve Transition Between the DoD and the VA
1. The DoD has the responsibility of enrolling all retiring veterans and those accessing mental health care facilities, in a program that helps the service members move to new teams for their care.
2. The VA is revising their policy. This will help retired military veterans who are accessing the health care of VA, avail drugs for mental health treatment from the DoD.
3. The DoD and VA will coordinate to establish a plan for members who have transitioned from the DoD to the VA and are suffering from complex mental conditions. This program will be transparent for the family members.
Steps to Improve the Quality of Mental Health Services
4. Veterans will be brought in at different primary care sites as peer specialists to help improve the mental condition of suffering veterans.
5. The DoD is taking steps to eliminate any restrictions in mental health care system for the VA.
6. Mental health care services will be provided and moved to sites where veterans are operating in units.
7. The White House BRAIN conference will help in furthering the efforts of the DoD, VA and other health institutes to improve the mental health facilities for VA.
8. DARPA is funding a project to develop new technology that helps the body and brain to increase the healing ability.
9. National Institutes of Health and the VA will launch a project that will help them identify PTSD, TBI and suicidal behavior. The research will be significant in the development process of prevention and treatment programs.
Steps to Spread Awareness
10. Veterans from other departments will be trained to operate in awareness programs for mental health conditions.
11. Veterans and their families will be educated about the importance of Vet Centers, and encouraged to visit their facilities.
12. Members of the DoD and VA will be trained to identify the symptoms and signs of mental conditions and contact the right people.
13. The DoD and VA are working to expand the awareness campaigns relevant to mental health conditions.
Steps to Help Prevent Suicide Attempts
14. The VA will develop strategies to prevent further suicide attempts. Those veterans who have failed in their previous attempts will be the focus of these measures. Areas under the DoD will have access to reversal kits for opiates overdose as well as training in this field.
15. Areas under the DoD will have access to reversal kits for opiates overdose as well as training in this field.
16. The DoD and VA will now allow veterans and their families to easily return medications that are no longer needed for treatment.
17. The VA will provide support plans for safety at home to reduce the chances of suicide attempts.
Steps to Strengthen the Veteran Community Services
18. Mental health providers of the community will be taught about the military culture so they can better treat the veteran families.
19. The VA and Treasury department are trying to identify the communities that require mental health facilities.
The Administration and the VA are doing whatever they can to improve mental health facilities for the veterans and their families. They are increasing staff members, raising awareness among people and investing money to improve the overall system. A new data portal will be deployed to all centers with access to patients’ records. Studies will be carried out to determine the effectiveness of the improvements in the system.
Veterans served our country, and it is only fair that the United States offers them high-quality services in return. As these initiatives are put in place, more needed improvements will come up, but the AV reform has to start somewhere.
Weigh in on how the VA can set measurable goals here and connect within the military community.