Trump aims to reduce veteran suicides with executive order

Trump aims to reduce veteran suicides with executive order
President Donald Trump signs the executive order to end veteran suicide in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(CNN/AP) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at reducing suicide among veterans.

It's called the “President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide” – or PREVENT.

The order creates a cabinet-level task force charged with bringing together public and private sector partners to improve quality of life for veterans.

It will also boost outreach by awarding grants to community programs, and aim to better coordinate research on suicide across agencies.

“To every veteran, I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you. You will never ever be forgotten, we are with you all the way,” the president said at a signing ceremony. “Supporting veterans in distress is a critical priority for our entire administration.”.

The task force is co-chaired by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie Trump’s order directs his agencies to develop the plan within 12 months.

Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, nearly twice the rate among the civilian population. Officials say about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach.

The White House did not indicate expected costs of the program.

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