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Monday, March 4, 2024
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VA Suicide Care and Treatment

I have, on numerous occasions, discussed VA Health’s emergency medical care. Veterans ac­tively enrolled in VA Health experiencing a med­ical emergency may receive care at a non-VA facility and VA Health will cover the expense. There are stipulations which include notifying the VA Centralized Emergency Care Reporting Center within 72 hours at 844-724-7842. Under the COMPACT Act, VA also covers emergency suicide care and treatment.

Veterans in suicidal crisis can go to any health care facility, at VA or in the community, for emer­gency health care – including ambulance trans­portation and related prescriptions – inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and cri­sis-related outpatient care for up to 90 days at no out-of-pocket cost. During a medical or mental health emergency, you should immediately seek care at the nearest emergency department and let staff know you are a Veteran. If you believe your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away.

You are eligible if discharged under a condi­tion that is not dishonorable or a general court martial and served prior to September 7, 1980. If you served after September 7, 1980, and dis­charged for a disability or you were discharged for a hardship, or you were discharged under oth­er than honorable conditions, then you are eligi­ble if you served 100 cumulative days in a com­bat zone or in support of a contingency operation either directly or by operating an UAV, or were the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces.

While VA health care is for Veterans, every­one should take note of the seriousness of mental health and suicide. You are not alone, I care about you as do others, and there are resources avail­able to assist. If you believe your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away.

Forgive my clunky transition, as I shift gears without the clutch. A Memorial Day program will be held in the auditorium of the Two Har­bors High School on Monday, May 29, 2023. The Two Harbors City Band will start playing at 9:30 AM with the program commencing at 10:00 AM. After the high school, the program will move to the Paul Van Hoven Park near the Edna G, then to the Lakeview Cemetery Veterans Section, and finally a picnic-style lunch at the American Le­gion Post.

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen. christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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