HARTFORD, Conn. – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a veteran suicide prevention bill Tuesday co-sponsored by Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
The bill, S.167, attempts to curb suicide rates among military veterans, which federal officials estimate results in 22 deaths daily. The legislation requires an independent and outside review of the Department of Veteran Affairs suicide prevention services, enhances outreach to veterans, and tries to attract more psychiatrists into VA clinics and hospitals with tuition breaks.
“Our veterans all too often succumb to the invisible wounds and inner demons that come home with them and they lack the mental health care that they need and deserve because the VA lacks the resources to provide that,” Blumenthal said in a floor speech just before the chamber voted 99-0 to approve the bill.
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