HomeNewsArticle Display

Executive order offers better access to mental health resources

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

An executive order signed last year by President Donald J. Trump has already been especially helpful to transitioning service members, said Karin Orvis, Defense Suicide Prevention Office director.

Orvis spoke at the 2019 Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Aug. 29.

Executive Order 13822, "Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life," directs the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security "to come together and ensure we have seamless access to mental health care and suicide prevention resources for transitioning service members and recent veterans, particularly during their first year of transition after separation or retirement," she said.

The first year of transition is particularly stressful for many service members, Orvis noted.

After the executive order was signed, the three departments drafted a joint action plan that contained 16 initiatives, she said, noting that 10 initiatives have already been completed.

The plan has two broad goals:

• First is to ensure all transitioning service members and veterans are aware of and understand the mental health resources available to them.
• Second is meeting the needs of at-risk service members and veterans, to include improving mental health care and suicide prevention services, particularly for those identified as high risk.

Orvis provided two examples:

The Transition Assistance Program has been enhanced to include information on VA benefits, she said, particularly mental health resources for the first year after separation and beyond. TAP provides information, training and resources to service members as they plan to transition from the military into civilian life.

Also as part of TAP, there's also now a facilitated registration in the VA health care system that walks service members through the process of registering for VA benefits, Orvis said.

TAP also focuses on providing psychosocial help, including peer support, for individuals at high risk and in need of support, she said.

Other areas of the program focus on identifying and assisting veterans who might be at risk for homelessness, in need of transportation or assistance with unemployment benefits, Orvis said.

There's also now a mandatory separation health assessment included in TAP that must be completed by all transitioning service members no later than 180 days before their separation date, she said.

The assessment includes a mental health component.

Second, Military OneSource availability has been extended. It was originally offered to service members for only up to 180 days after separation or retirement. It's now available for a full year, and offers help with taxes, spousal employment, a variety of training, education and relocation assistance. There is also help for those who are having interpersonal or relationship issues.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @WrightPattAFB: Acoustics researchers in AFRL's 711th Human Performance Wing are collecting and delivering acoustics data from hardened…
Get in on the conversation and be sure to subscribe. Link below. https://t.co/tV4TDUMVBK
RT @USAFHealth: Regulating body temperature can mean the difference between life and death. The Air Force is looking into a technology to m…
RT @PACAF: #PACAF photo of the week comes from @EielsonAirForce! This #Airman is testing a new #F35 arctic survival kit. https://t.co/FTAH…
RT @grandslamwing: @SecAFOfficial and @GenDaveGoldfein have arrived to the Grand Slam Wing! Barrett and Goldfein met with AUAB and Qatari l…
RT @AirMobilityCmd: A HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to @DMAFB was delivered to @MacDill_AFB via a C-5 Super Galaxy assigned to Dover…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Airmen from @Spangdahlem_AB trained at #BlueFlag Israel with partners and allies like the Hellenic air force @wwwairforcegr
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: What an honor to accompany @SecAFOfficial on her first trip to meet our deployed #Airmen. Looking forward to introduci…
#USAF's 555th Fighter Squadron a.k.a the Triple Nickel and their F-16 Fighting Falcons recently deployed for the fi… https://t.co/0qCMua0WAi
RT @FedExField: Swearing-In Ceremony during the @Redskins #SaluteToService Game. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/pox97AAekX
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Watch USAFE-AFAFRICA Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Basham & @RoyalAirForce Air Marshal Gerry M. Mayhew explain why our strong U.…
RT @cmsaf18: “You (don’t) become a #leader by fighting your way to the top. Rather, you become a leader by helping others to the top.” - W…
RT @USAFCENT: SHARED COMMITMENT | The Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, Staff MG Pilot Salem Bin Hamad Al-Nabet, met with Lt. Gen. Gu…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Our teams at the @AFResearchLab are forever #innovating ... even in the ways they approach problem solving! #creativity #Airme
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Let there be no mistake about our continued commitment to the region. I look forward to continuing the important dialo…
RT @DeptofDefense: A @usairforce airman w/the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, performs refuel training w/ROK Air Force F-16D Falcon during a…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: When you spend 24 hour alerts in the silo, it becomes a second home… Learn about how the 341st Force Support Squadron a…
.@GenDaveGoldfein engaged recruits this past #VeteransDay weekend, asking each why they chose to serve prior to con… https://t.co/vToX52rixv