Guest column: Help for veterans is made available
Help is available for veterans in crisis. In January, the new COMPACT Act went into effect across the United States. The COMPACT Act is the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care and Treatment legislation. The Act allows all honorably discharged veterans who are experiencing a suicidal crisis to go to any mental healthcare facility for treatment at no cost. Veterans do not need to be enrolled to use this benefit. This provision makes critical and potentially life-saving support available to our dedicated veteran community who served our nation.
The COMPACT Act allows the VA to:
• Provide, pay for or reimburse treatment of eligible individuals’ emergency suicide care, transportation costs and follow-up care at a VA or non-VA facility for up to 30 days of inpatient care and 90 days of outpatient care.
• Make referrals for care following the period of emergency suicide care.
Why this matters
This expansion of access to care is designed to help prevent veteran suicide by guaranteeing no-cost behavioral health care in times of crisis. It will also increase access to suicide care for up to 9 million veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA.
Help is available now. We are listening. If someone is experiencing an emotional crisis or thoughts of suicide, 24/7 assessments are available by contacting us directly.
Public helplines include:
- 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that provides 24/7 no-cost and confidential support for individuals in distress, including prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Simply call or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
- The Veterans Crisis Line for U.S. military veterans, call 988, press 1.
- Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 lifeline for LGBTQ youth, is reached at 1-866-488-7386.
As a behavioral health-care provider right here in Casper, our team at Wyoming Behavioral Institute is dedicated to #BeThere in a manner that promotes hope, resiliency, connectedness and recovery.
For more information about the COMPACT Act, visit https://news.va.gov/news-releases/starting-jan-17-veterans-in-suicidal-crisis-can-go-to-any-va-or-nonva-health-care-facility-for-free-emergency-health-care/.