Congresswoman Susan Davis Supports House Bill to Prevent Veteran Suicides

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Washington, DC, January 13, 2015 | comments

U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) applauded the swift, unanimous House passage of H.R. 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. This bipartisan legislation – originally passed by the House in the 113th Congress, but blocked by a single U.S. Senator – addresses the epidemic of suicide among our nation’s veterans. 

“Too many of our veterans are lost to suicide because the country they served and sacrificed for has not provided them with adequate support,” said Rep. Davis. “This bipartisan legislation provides our heroes the care and support to help them overcome mental health challenges, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Everyone who served their country should feel that their nation stands behind them with compassion and dedication every day.”

Twenty-two veterans commit suicide daily – more than 8,000 every year.  Of the more than 2 million Americans who have served in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is estimated that one-third, roughly 600,000 women and men, have traumatic brain injury, PTSD or depression. 

Named in honor of late Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran and noted suicide prevention advocate who committed suicide on March 31, 2011, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (H.R. 203) will establish:

  • A peer support and community outreach pilot program to assist transitioning servicemembers with accessing VA mental health care services 
  • A one-stop, interactive website to serve as a centralized source of information regarding all mental health services for veterans 
  • A student loan repayment pilot program aimed at recruiting and retaining psychiatrists will help address the shortage of mental health care professionals
  • An annual, third-party evaluation of all mental health care and suicide prevention practices and programs at the VA to find out what’s working and what’s not

The bill was introduced by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), the highest ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress and co-authored by Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a Purple Heart recipient, Iraq War veteran, and member of the Army National Guard. 

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Tags: Veterans

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