Skip to main content

Already a subscriber? Make sure to log into your account before viewing this content. You can access your account by hitting the “login” button on the top right corner. Still unable to see the content after signing in? Make sure your card on file is up-to-date.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that its emergency suicide prevention program, launched last year, has been a critical resource for nearly 50,000 veterans. This new initiative allows veterans to access free emergency care at any VA or non-VA health facility during an acute suicidal crisis.

The VA’s announcement on Wednesday highlighted the program’s significant impact, both in terms of offering potentially life-saving healthcare and in reducing healthcare costs by over $64 million. The policy encompasses various care services, including emergency room visits, inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days, outpatient care for up to 90 days, and transportation costs.

Hospital 3x2 0

VA Secretary Denis McDonough emphasized the program’s importance, stating, “There is nothing more important to VA than preventing Veteran suicide — and this expansion of no-cost care has likely saved thousands of lives this year. We want all Veterans to know they can get the care they need, when they need it, no matter where they are.”

This comes amid alarming statistics from the organization Stop Soldier Suicide, which indicates that veterans are 57% more likely to commit suicide compared to non-service members, with suicide ranking as the second leading cause of death among veterans under 45. The VA’s latest report revealed an increase in veteran suicide deaths, totaling 6,392 in 2021. This number, up by 114 from the previous year, makes suicide the 13th leading cause of death among veterans, particularly affecting the 18 to 34 age group.


Keep up to date with our latest videos, news and content