Senate passes bipartisan veterans’ well being and suicide prevention laws –

Senate passes bipartisan veterans’ well being and suicide prevention laws

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The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Psychological Well being Care Enchancment Act, or S.785, was one of many first payments unanimously handed out of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in January following the appointment of Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., as committee chairman.


Hannon was a chief of SEAL Group Two, a member of SEAL Group Six and a Particular Operations and coverage employees officer at U.S. Particular Operations Command. He retired in 2012 after 23 years of service and died by suicide six years later.

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Hannon had been receiving therapy for post-traumatic stress dysfunction, a traumatic mind damage, extreme melancholy and bipolar dysfunction by way of the Veterans Affairs well being care system in Montana, Connecting Vets reported.

He was concerned with the Montana chapter of the Nationwide Alliance for Psychological Sickness, talking candidly about his wartime accidents.


The laws named in Hannon’s honor is geared toward bettering psychological well being care supplied by the Division of Veterans Affairs by way of pathways equivalent to transition help, increasing care to former service members with other-than-honorable discharges, extending grant cash to native teams working to assist veterans and hiring extra suicide prevention coordinators for every VA care facility.

The 2019 Nationwide Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report discovered that the variety of veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 yearly from 2008 by way of 2017 and famous {that a} 2014 report discovered a mean of 20 suicides per day when combining a depend of veterans, present service members and former Nationwide Guard or Reserve members who have been by no means federally activated.

Regardless of quite a few large-scale Veterans Affairs applications geared toward discovering options, the suicide price has remained comparatively constant over the previous decade.

President Trump displays his signed executive order establishing a "National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide" in March 2019. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

President Trump shows his signed government order establishing a “Nationwide Roadmap to Empower Veterans and Finish Veteran Suicide” in March 2019. (AP Picture/ Evan Vucci)

Final yr, President Trump signed an government order “issuing a nationwide name to motion” to proper the pattern.

The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and Finish a Nationwide Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) — a federal endeavor to coordinate with state and native efforts — was touted by the administration as the primary complete federal strategy to ending the general public well being menace.

S.785 is an extension of a brand new push this yr to comply with by way of on that mission. It now strikes to the Home of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Veterans Affairs rating member Jon Tester, D-Mont., who launched the invoice in partnership with Moran, mentioned Wednesday that “there isn’t a higher means of supporting our veterans than passing this invoice” and advised lawmakers afterward they may very well be happy with taking actions that helped veterans and would transfer the nation ahead.

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“The elevated danger components coupled with the damaging results of the pandemic, may very well be an ideal storm for our veterans as researchers from the American Psychological Affiliation famous in a current article,” Moran identified, talking on the Senate flooring on the finish of July.


“One veteran misplaced to suicide is one too many,” Moran advised lawmakers on Wednesday, urging them to again the measure and noting that COVID-19 and the ensuing isolation has exacerbated psychological well being issues for former army personnel.

“Each day that we fail to behave, every single day, we lose one other 20 veterans to suicide,” he mentioned. “They want our assist.”

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox Information Digital. You’ll find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.


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