Veteran Suicide Statistics Are Horrifying — What Is the VA Doing to Help?

Shereef Elnahal, the VA’s under secretary for health, discussed the issue of veteran suicide at the ViVE conference in Los Angeles. He emphasized the importance of reaching all veterans with VA programming, especially in suicide prevention. The VA is working on partnerships with health systems to exchange information and provide care for veterans in crisis. They are also exploring virtual reality-based peer support care and conducting clinical trials on psilocybin and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Elnahal shared the success story of a veteran who benefited from MDMA treatment for PTSD. These treatments are not yet FDA-approved, but the first approval for psychedelics could come this year.

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