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Roe Calls for Hearing on Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Veteran Suicide

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Washington, August 29, 2019 | Samantha Gonzalez (202-225-3527) | comments

Rep. Phil Roe M.D. (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, is calling for a hearing on H.R. 3495, the IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act. The bipartisan bill would provide funding to entities that provide suicide prevention services to veterans and their families and is sponsored by Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.). 

In a letter sent earlier this week to Rep. Mark Takano (D-Ca.), the Chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Roe asked that the bill be added to the agenda of a September 11th legislative hearing as "a substantive step in preventing suicide among those who have served" and noted that the bill would "greatly expand the reach of VA's suicide prevention programs, enable more at-risk servicemembers and veterans to be identified and supported, and improve coordination among currently disparate resources aimed at the military and veteran communities." The letter can be read here

H.R. 3495 is supported by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, who praised the bill during a speech before The American Legion yesterday. His remarks can be viewed here

“The rising tide of advocates for our legislation, H.R. 3495, the IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act, comes as our nation strives to end the suicide crisis and its impact on veterans," said Bergman. "I want to thank Secretary Wilkie and Ranking Member Roe for providing us even more momentum to push this legislation forward through Congress."

Background:

Despite significant increases to funding, staffing, programs, and attention for suicide prevention and mental health care, approximately 20 veterans, servicemembers, and members of the National Guard and Reserve have died by suicide every day since the late 1990's. The IMPROVE Well-being for Veterans Act would expand the reach of services aimed at preventing suicide among veterans by providing grants to entities that provide and coordinate suicide prevention services for them and their families. Click here for more information about the IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act. 

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