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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Senate Passes Veterans Mental Health Bill, Heads Now to White House

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This week, the Senate passed legislation aimed at preventing veterans’ suicide. The legislation allows the Veterans’ Administration to team with nonprofits focused on promoting mental health to carry out its suicide prevention programs. Additionally, the legislation establishes a three-year pilot program to pay for psychiatrists’ education if they work at the VA for at least two years.

The measure, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, unanimously passed both chambers of Congress and now heads to the White House where President Obama indicated that he would sign the bill into law. The bill aims to ensure accountability and progress from the Veterans Administration in curbing the growing suicide epidemic among veterans.

“This legislation takes important steps to help our transitioning veterans get the help they need to prevent tragic suicides,” said Senator Ayotte, a chief sponsor of the bill. “This bipartisan effort will improve mental health programs, focus resources on the most successful initiatives, and expand outreach to our brave veterans who have selflessly defended our country, often at great emotional and psychological cost to themselves and their families.”

The National Council supports legislation that increases veterans’ access to mental health treatment and looks forward to continuing our efforts to promote mental health and suicide prevention. Be sure to stay tuned to Capitol Connector for more information.