CHA News Article

President Orders Expansion of Mental Health Services for Veterans

President Obama issued an executive order today expanding mental health services to veterans, service members and military families. The order seeks to address rising military suicides by allocating more of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget to suicide prevention. The order calls for the VA to expand the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent and requires the VA to connect mental health professionals with veterans in crisis within 24 hours, while hiring 800 peer-to-peer counselors to engage with veterans. The order also calls for more coordination between the VA and community mental health clinics, community health centers, substance-abuse facilities and rural health clinics. In addition, the order identifies the framework for a National Research Action Plan to study Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries.  For the full executive order, go to