President Barack Obama says his administration is determined to help servicemen, veterans and their families with their economic and health care needs as conflicts overseas end or wind down and they return to the nation they have served.
In an election-year reminder that he ended the war in Iraq, Obama says it is now time for the country to attend to its warriors even as they still face a "tough fight" in Afghanistan.
Obama spoke at Fort Bliss on Friday, the second anniversary of the end of combat operations in Iraq.
From the White House:
Since September 11, 2001, more than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, many of them serving with unprecedented duration and frequency. Long deployments and intense combat conditions require optimal support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families, and ensuring that they receive the support they deserve is a top priority for the Obama Administration.
That's why today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will help the federal government better meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for our troops and veterans, as well as their families.
Building on the ongoing efforts to expand these services, today's Executive Order:
- Strengthens suicide prevention efforts across the force and in the veteran community
- Enhances access to mental health care by building partnerships between VA and community providers
- Increases the number of VA mental health providers serving our veterans
- Promotes mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies
- Launches a government-wide collaborative effort to address these issues through a Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force
Learn more about today's Executive Order and other steps the Obama Administration has taken to protect and strengthen the health of our military, veterans and their families here at home.
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