WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois) supported legislation, that now goes to President Barack Obama, to address the growing veteran suicide epidemic.
H.R. 203, the Clay Hunt SAV Act, unanimously passed the House and the Senate.
“As many as 22 American veterans take their own lives each day,” Shimkus said. “We must do more to help these men and women, who have already sacrificed so much on our behalf, through the pain and darkness that far too often ends in tragedy. This legislation is an important step toward better mental health services for our nation’s heroes and I urge the president to sign it into law.”
The Clay Hunt SAV Act:
· Requires an independent third party to conduct an annual evaluation of the mental health care and suicide prevention programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs;
· Directs the VA to publish a website to provide information on all the mental health care services available to veterans in their respective Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN); and
· Establishes pilot programs and extends eligibility to improve availability and access to mental health services for veterans.
More information is available here.