Alexander, Corker Vote For Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill

Press release from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; February 3, 2015:

Legislation Passes Senate, 99-0

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2015 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today 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. The legislation would also 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.

Press release from U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. February 3, 2015:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after voting for H.R. 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which passed the Senate by a vote of 99 to 0.

“The alarming rise in the number of suicides within our active duty military and veteran populations is a crisis we cannot ignore,” said Corker. “By expanding access to mental health care while refining and improving the programs currently in place, this bill is an important step toward ensuring our veterans are receiving the care and resources they deserve.”