A survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA) found that two out of every five of their members know another veteran who committed suicide. On February 12, President Obama signed a federal bill to help veterans access quality mental health services, according to an article by Peter Baker in the New York Times.
The Clay Hunt Act, named for a Marine who committed suicide in 2011, was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and provides the following:
- Outside evaluations of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental health and suicide prevention programs;
- Website with interactive features for locating resources;
- Incentives for mental health professionals to practice with the VA; and
- Extension of time limit for veterans to get health benefits from the VA without proving that disability is related to service.
Read the article here.
Read the IAVA survey results here.
Read the text of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act here.