Effective today, military veterans in “acute suicidal crisis” can go to any Veterans Affairs or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care for free, even if they aren’t enrolled in VA care, the agency said in a Friday press release.

“Veterans in suicidal crisis can now receive the free, world-class emergency health care they deserve, no matter where they need it, when they need it, or whether they’re enrolled in VA care,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said. “This expansion of care will save veterans’ lives, and there’s nothing more important than that.”

It’s one of several steps VA has taken to address veteran suicide, including development of the 988 hotline for veterans in crisis.

VA photo