Bill introduced to combat crisis of veterans suicide

The Access to Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, a bipartisan bill to expand access to VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators for veterans, has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.

The measure was introduced Aug. 17 by U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.

The bill would require every VA Medical Center to have at least one suicide prevention coordinator on staff and available to help local veterans.

“Every day we lose 20 veterans to suicide. That is 20 too many,” Bost said in a news release. 

“We must continue working to improve access to mental health professionals like the critically important suicide prevention coordinators. 

“Our nation’s veterans and their families sacrifice so much on behalf of the United States, and it is our duty to help them during their time of need.”

The Access to Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act takes steps to further define qualifications, best practices and duties for these coordinators.

The bill also directs the VA to implement the findings of a comptroller general’s study on suicide prevention coordinators. 

Bost said this is a follow-up to the bipartisan Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, which Bost helped to introduce, and President Donald Trump signed into law last year.

The Gazette-Democrat

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