Any Veterans in Suicidal Crisis Can Go to Any Health Care Facility for Free Emergency Healthcare

Taking a radically new approach to preventing suicide among veterans, starting January 17, any “veterans in acute suicidal crisis will be able to go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost – including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.”

Amazingly, the veteran does not need prior enrollment in the VA healthcare system to use this benefit.  This is a totally new way of government thinking in addressing a general societal problem for those who are veterans, and it may affect up to nine million veterans who are not currently enrolled with the VA.  It definitely puts weight behind Secretary McDonough’s statements that preventing veteran suicide is the VA’s top clinical priority.

See their news release on how this came about through using a 2020 law, the COMPACT Act, and for more details on the situation.

Over the past year, the VA has announced or continued several additional efforts on this topic, including helping to establish the 988 (then press 1) quick call number and conducting an outreach effort on firearm suicide prevention and lethal means safety, which has unfortunately met with misunderstanding in some quarters.  And one should not forget the “Don’t Wait. Reach Out” campaign.

May this new effort produce results.


As of 13 January 2023