Executive Order Establishes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force
WASHINGTON — Men’s Health Network (MHN) applauds President Trump’s executive action to address the current service members and veterans mental health and suicide epidemic. On Tuesday, the President signed an executive order that, among other things, establishes a Veteran Wellness, Empowerment, and Suicide Prevention Task Force.
More than 20 veterans and active-duty military commit suicide every day in the United States. They account for one-sixth of the more than 47,000 Americans who died by suicide in 2017.
Veterans’ and military mental health and suicide was the recent topic of a congressional briefing held on Capitol Hill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiZlGdW8v48) by the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus and Men’s Health Network. U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and U.S. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) spoke at the event.
“Suicide among veterans and active duty service members is an ongoing and often overlooked tragedy. Health and wellness are essential to any community—our veterans and service members are no different,” said Ana Fadich, Vice President of MHN. “President Trump’s executive order sets the groundwork for a national discussion and action on addressing mental health and suicide among veterans and service members.”
The executive order calls for the development of a comprehensive national public health roadmap, President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide or PREVENTS, for preventing suicide among the nation’s veterans, with the goal of ending suicide once and for all. The order sets a one-year deadline for the Task Force to develop and submit a roadmap to President Trump to empower veterans to pursue an improved quality of life, prevent suicide, prioritize related research activities, and strengthen collaboration across the public and private sectors.
“Men’s Health Network has a long history of supporting the physical and mental health needs of our veteran population. In this important endeavor our group will remain enthusiastic and committed contributors to this developing process,” said David Gremillion, MD, an MHN board member, and past president of the Society of Air Force Physicians.
“Men, especially those who have served in the military, are often reluctant to ask for help,” said Armin Brott (MrDad.com), an advisor to Men’s Health Network and the author of “The Military Father: A Hands-on Guide for Deployed Dads.” “I believe that the President’s executive order will empower veterans to get the support they need. It will not only save lives, but will also spare families from the pain of losing a loved one.”