September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is commemorating the occasion by seeking new ways to reduce suicide among veterans. In that vein, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has called upon Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote for the “IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act.” The proposed legislation would grant funding to community groups to help support veterans at risk of suicide or self-harm.
The bill is co-sponsored by Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), and it has bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. The VA has had previous success in partnering with community groups to support veterans in need of assistance, and this bill is intended to expand those efforts at suicide prevention. However, the bill must first be brought to a vote, and Secretary Wilkie has written to Speaker Pelosi this week, asking her to do just that. If passed, it could help to reduce the rate of suicide among veterans, which occurs at a rate of about twenty per day. Suicide prevention, after all, must be about community engagement as well as federal policy.
Suicide remains a major problem among veterans, particularly disabled veterans. Please know that support is out there for veterans, and no one needs to struggle alone. If you or someone you love is a veteran suffering from suicidal thoughts, please contact the Veterans Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or chat online here.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.