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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Veteran Anti-Suicide Bill a Point of Emphasis in Senate and House


Veteran Anti-Suicide Bill a Point of Emphasis in Senate and House

A veteran anti-suicide bill aimed at improving current suicide prevention veterans programs and getting rid of ineffective ones makes its way to both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees this week. As most of our readers know, the suicide rate among veterans is alarming and needs to be addressed. Now, we are pleased – as long as this doesn’t turn out to be nothing more than a political move – to see members of the Senate and House taking time to make combating veteran suicide a point of emphasis.
In the past, we shared a blog post and powerful video which addressed suicide, PTSD, divorce, homelessness and other issues that face our military veterans. We’ve also touched on the Department of Veterans Affairs message of how you can help save a veteran’s life during the Suicide Prevention Month campaign.

Veteran Anti-Suicide Bill Named After Iraq War Veteran

Both the House and Senate version of the anti-suicide bill are named the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. Hunt, a 28-year-old Marine veteran of the Iraq War who killed himself in March 2011, was heavily involved in suicide prevention programs and his suicide came as a shock to those who knew him.
The veteran anti-suicide bill focuses on attracting more psychiatrists to work at the Department of Veterans Affairs with the hopes of making mental health care easier to find for those who need it. Just as important, the bill’s purpose is to review suicide prevention programs and eliminate those which are not effective. There will also be an importance placed of anti-suicide training and best practices.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, summed up what many outside of Washington, D.C. feel when he said, “Our nation has a long way to go to decrease the rate of suicide among our veterans and we must do much better in fulfilling our responsibilities to care for those who have risked everything on behalf of their fellow Americans.”