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Waltz Applauds Passage of Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz applauded the House’s unanimous passage of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, a bill designed to improve veterans’ access to mental healthcare and to prevent veteran suicide.

Approximately 20 service members and veterans die by suicide each day. This legislation addresses veteran suicide by expanding access to care and programs for post-traumatic growth, alternative therapies, as well as grants of up $750,000 to state and local organizations providing suicide prevention services to veterans and their families.

“As a veteran, I’ve thought a lot about my experiences in battle during the past few months, dealing with post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified stressors, as we’re forced to socially distance and isolate. It is critical we support our veterans in need, especially during this difficult time,” Waltz said. “In combat, we are constantly checking on our brothers and sisters to our left and our right. We not only have to do the same back home – but we also have to take it a step further and ensure our veterans can access mental health services to help prevent veteran suicide.”

The legislation has been widely supported by veteran service organizations, including Mission Roll Call, which teamed up with Rep. Waltz during the month of September, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

The legislation now heads to the President to sign into law.