Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

  • Bipartisan Senate Effort Passes Legislation To Stop Veteran Suicides

    In a rare bipartisan move, a group of senators have moved forward on a bill to prevent veteran suicide, sending the legislation to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday for review.

    The legislation, called the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, was named after an Iraq war veteran who killed himself back in 2011 after a bad bout of PTSD and an uncooperative, uncaring local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. The Senate passed the bill on Monday, hoping that it speeds through the Senate Committee on Wednesday before Christmas break hits for Congress.

    “An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day, a shocking and unacceptable reality,” said North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in a statement on the bill. “We are proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to improve and modernize the suicide prevention programs and resources available to our fighting men and women.”

    “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.”

    Part of the problem, the senators argued, can also be fixed by attracting more psychiatrists to the anti-suicide programs by offering incentives of loan repayment. The House is set to join the Senate by taking up a similar version of the bill before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

    Clay Hunt’s death was surprising for some because of how much he participated in suicide prevention programs, prompting both the Senate and the House to finally take action.

    “Clay’s story details the urgency needed in addressing this issue,” Susan Selke, Clay Hunter’s mother, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee in July. “Despite his proactive and open approach to seeking care to address his injuries, the VA system did not adequately address his needs.”

    As it stands now, the bill mandates that independent reviewers be brought on to assess how well the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are conducting their suicide prevention programs. Reviewers would then make suggestions for improvements and consolidation.

    The non-profit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) applauded lawmakers for working together on an issue that needs immediate attention, but was forceful about Congress actually following through with their intentions.

    “Now that the elections are over, before this Congress adjourns, we need real action on suicide prevention,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA CEO and Founder. “Last week as our country celebrated Veterans Day, politicians again touted their support of veterans. Now it is time to step up.”

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

    Powered by WPeMatico


    Join the discussion. Leave a comment.

    We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.





    Trending Now on Daily Surge

    Send this to friend