Derek Kilmer

VA expands mental health care for vets with less-than-honorable discharges

VA expands mental health care for vets with less-than-honorable discharges

The Department of Veterans Affairs will offer urgent mental health care beginning this summer to thousands of former service members with less-than-honorable discharges, part of its expanded initiative to stem stubbornly high rates of suicide.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said Wednesday the additional coverage was needed to help former service members who are more likely to have mental health distress. He said the department couldn't wait for legislation and needed to act now, noting that the vast majority of veterans who took their lives had not been connected to VA care.

"This is a national emergency that requires bold action," Shulkin said. "Far too many...

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