Program provides Veterans supportive contact and information to enable success
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in collaborated with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, Dec. 2, to introduce VA Solid Start which will proactively contact all newly separated service members at least three times during their first year of transition from the military.
The program will engage contact with approximately 200,000 Veterans each year and is part of Executive Order 13822 which was issued to improve mental health care and access to suicide prevention resources available to transitioning uniformed service members in the year following discharge, separation or retirement.
The stress of transitioning from service to civilian life can lead to challenges or unmet health care needs for Veterans. Through VA Solid Start, the department will ensure consistent, caring contact and help new Veterans get a solid start on their civilian lives. It is important for VA to initiate contact with these transitioning veterans to form a strong relationship from the beginning.
The goal is to establish a strong relationship between VA and transitioning service members, promoting awareness of VA benefits, services and partner resources available to them.
Veterans within their first year of separation from uniformed service experience suicide rates nearly two times higher than the overall Veteran suicide rate. Contacts through VA Solid Start — via phone calls or emails — will ensure transitioning service members are aware of the free VA mental health resources the department offers Veterans for up to a year, regardless of discharge status or service history.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and Press 1, text the number 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. If veterans want additional information on VA & State benefits, please contact Montgomery County Veterans Service at 936-539-7842 or via email at email@example.com.