Alexander Votes for Legislation to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement on his vote in favor of legislation to help reduce military and veteran suicide by improving access to quality mental health care:
“Our veterans deserve to be taken care of when they return home, and we need to ensure they have access to the best mental health care available. One death by suicide is one too many, and this bill is a major step towards lowering the staggering number of suicides among our military members by putting in place critical new programs that provide additional support and resources for veterans as well as improving the quality of mental health care at the VA.”
The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, S. 167, would increase veterans' access to mental health care through pilot programs that establish support groups to assist service members transitioning to civilian life.
The bill would also create incentives to encourage more psychiatrists to serve at the VA by helping them repay their student loans.
In addition, the legislation would require an annual evaluation of the VA's mental health and suicide-prevention programs to increase accountability and quality of care.
The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and now heads to the president's desk for signature.