Reuters (3/8, Singh) reports that on March 8, the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced “it intends to expand mental health care to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges.” Under the proposal, “former OTH service members will be able to seek treatment at a VA emergency department, Vet Center or contact Veterans Crisis Line, the department said in a statement.” Currently, “veterans who do not receive an honorable discharge are not eligible for many” VA benefits, Reuters points out.
According to the AP (3/8, Yen), the department intends to begin implementing the changes in June or July as part of its expanded suicide prevention initiative. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said he could not wait for legislation because “this is a national emergency that requires bold action.”
— “U.S. to expand mental health care for some veterans,”Kanishka Singh, Reuters, March 08, 2017.