(photo provided by the office of Rep. Brindisi)
Congressman Anthony Brindisi last week announced new legislation to address the troubling uptick in veteran suicides and help improve suicide prevention and mental health resources at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“20 veterans die by suicide every day. This is wrong and unacceptable, and we must do more,” said Congressman Brindisi. “It is our responsibility to ensure every veteran has a place to turn when he or she needs help. Our bill is an important step to improve VA suicide prevention resources and ensure all veterans have access to the life-saving mental health care they need.”
New York’s 22nd Congressional district alone is home to 50,000 living veterans.
Brindisis’ bill now requires the federal government to assess the responsibilities, workload, and vacancy rates of the VA’s Suicide Prevention Coordinators, who are responsible for identifying high-risk veterans and ensuring they receive appropriate care, conduct outreach, and promote awareness and suicide prevention best practices within VA.
The Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act would help ensure these men and women have the tools and resources they need to provide veterans with critical mental health resources.
Nationwide, there were more than 20 million living veterans in 2016. More than 50,000 live here in the 22nd Congressional District.