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
#FridayFunFact: The 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron has the only operational cryogenic production plant in the… https://t.co/PZPZvak0YS
RT @cmsaf18: You know what time it is! Spark Tank 2020 - get those ideas ready. https://t.co/ZEpBcOtNKs
RT @PACAF: #PACAF #Airmen are straightening relationships in #Malaysia during #A2AT. https://t.co/wxHlZXIQ9S
RT @SJAFB: Salute to all of our first responders still working during the hurricane. And those who have volunteered their time to make sure…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: As we revitalize our squadrons, Airmen are getting after the hard problems we must solve to prepare for the future of…
RT @JBLEnews: Team #JBLE, #19DoDHurricane beddown complete! As we settle in for the approaching storm, here's a recap of this week's events…
RT @HAFB: How time flies! 4 years ago, the active duty @388fw and Reserve @419fw received their first 2 F-35s. Today, the wings are close t…
RT @AETCommand: #BehindTheScenes - SERE specialists assigned to Water Survival teach life raft living before going into a pool equipped wit…
RT @JBLEnews: #JBLE-Langley continues evacuation efforts. 633rd SFS military working dogs were evacuated along with food, water and medical…
RT @20FighterWing: We are ‘All Clear’ Team Shaw. We will resume normal operations tomorrow. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone imp…
RT @SJAFB: ‼️We’re Ready‼️ A Message from the 4th Fighter Wing Commander #19DoDHurricane #GoFourth #AirForce #HurricaneDorain #SJAFB #4FW h…
RT @NOAA_AOML: When a hurricane approaches, all air traffic is diverted away from the storm except for the @NOAA_HurrHunter and @53rdWRS hu…
RT @MacDill_AFB: You were only gone for a few days but it felt like an eternity.. We’re happy to welcome back our KC-135s after their depar…
RT @AirmanMagazine: As Hurricane #Dorian approaches, the @usairforce has evacuated aircraft from bases that may be impacted by extreme weat…
RT @SJAFB: Our Airmen are making the final preparations to ensure the safety of our families and security of our assets. Bring on Hurricane…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “If you put my guys out on Tybee Island after a major hurricane pummels through the area, they would be right at home." @…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Look at the first @usairforce C-5M assigned to @Travis60AMW offloading equipment at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia. #Toget
RT @DeptofDefense: A @usairforce crew chief assigned to the 510th Aircraft Maintenance Unit tightens a screw on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at…
RT @grandslamwing: @usairforce , Members of a Congressional Delegation visited Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Aug. 30. The representatives @RepMa
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen 1st Class Brittany Wright and Tiffany Duffus from the 21st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron were recognized wi…