On Wednesday, President Trump announced a new initiative to help veterans suffering from mental health issues and suicidal thoughts.
The Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide, or PREVENTS, was established by the president’s executive order last December and spearheaded by second lady Karen Pence. “They fought their battles overseas and now we must join them in fighting this new battle at home,” Trump said during a speech at the White House. “They face tremendous, tremendous trauma.”
The initiative put forth 10 recommendations for federal agencies and public organizations to take action in helping veterans in need, and also established a new public health campaign to improve veterans’ awareness of mental health resources available around the country. According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, 45,390 American adults died from suicide in 2017, including 6,139 U.S. veterans. Veterans’ advocacy groups earlier this year issued warnings that a surge in mental health needs is on the horizon as the coronavirus pandemic strains resources and increases social isolation.
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