COMPACT Act offers mental health resources for veterans

3 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago Wednesday, May 31 2023 May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023 1:22 PM May 31, 2023 in News - Local

Help is available for veterans suffering from mental health in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a program to get veterans free mental healthcare that offers a lot of different benefits they can take advantage of.

"I think it would help out anybody that needs mental help. It's something that's now coming more of age to everyone. [They] can realize, hey, we need help whether we are too happy or too sad. It's all about the brain," South Texas Health System Behavioral therapist Rosalinda Jimenez said.

The COMPACT Act is a program offered by the VA that allows veterans having a mental crisis to go into any emergency facility and get the help they need.

It includes 30 days of inpatient care and 90 days of outpatient care, all for free.

Ambulance rides to hospitals are also covered in the program. Veterans don't have to be enrolled in the VA, but they have to have served in the military for 24 months and received an honorable discharge.

Jimenez is a veteran herself and says her dad served in the military during World War II. She says after his service, her dad was depressed and didn't want to talk about his depression. It wasn't until before he passed away that he opened up.

"I think a lot of veterans don't want to share, or they want to share with a particular type. Maybe a combat veteran only wants to share with another combat veteran or females want to share with females because you have to be in their shoes to know what it felt like," Jimenez said.

Jimenez says often times veterans choose suicide instead of reaching out for help.

The benefits of the COMPACT Act are available at any healthcare facility. If you do get a bill, the VA will reimburse you.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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