VA has said that ending veteran suicide is its top clinical priority, and a White House fact sheet ahead of President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address called suicide among veterans a “public health and national security crisis.”
Nearly 50,000 veterans and former service members received free emergency suicide prevention care in 2023 in the first year of a new Department of Veterans Affairs program.
The initiative is designed to help those in “acute suicidal crisis” access emergency services at VA and non-VA facilities and saved the former service members at least $64 million in health-care costs, according to VA. The policy covers 30 days of inpatient or crisis residential care, 90 days of outpatient care and related transportation costs.
Homelessness among veterans also increased by 7.4 percent in 2023, according to VA, with more than 35,000 veterans recorded in last year’s count by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Read more at WashingtonPost.com.