President Obama signed an Executive Order that will help the federal government better meet the current and future demand for mental health services and substance abuse treatment for our troops and veterans, as well as their families.
According to the White House, the executive order will hire 800 peer-to-peer support counselors, using veterans to support other veterans, and push to complete the hiring of 1,600 additional mental health professionals by June, 2013.
Overall, the executive order is designed to:
- Strengthen suicide prevention efforts across the force and in the veteran community
- Enhance access to mental health care by building partnerships between VA and community providers
- Increase the number of VA mental health providers serving our veterans
- Promote mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies
- Launche a government-wide collaborative effort to address these issues through a Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force