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House passes suicide prevention bill, Senate awaits

posted Dec 15, 2014, 7:20 AM by Youth Suicide Awareness Action Team   [ updated Dec 15, 2014, 7:30 AM ]
The House on Tuesday passed sweeping veterans suicide prevention legislation as one of its final legislative acts of the year, but the measure still faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention bill, named for a Marine veteran activist who took his own life in 2011, would improve access to mental health care for troops and veterans, enhance Veterans Affairs Department recruiting efforts for psychiatrists, and mandate evaluations of existing prevention programs to ensure their effectiveness.

House lawmakers approved the measure by a simple voice vote without objection, calling the legislation a critical outreach effort to veterans in need. But whether the bill becomes a last-minute triumph for veterans advocates or another gridlock disappointment will depend on whether the Senate also can approve the measure by the end of the week.

Click here to read the full article on You may also want to check out "The Life and Death of Clay Hunt" from CBS News which originally aired on 60 Minutes on March 3, 2012.

NOTE FROM THE YSA:  At first glance, this article might not appear to be relevant to the issues of youth suicide. However, we need to keep in mind that a number of youth in our county are the children of active duty military officers in a number of branches of the armed forces and are deeply affected by the issues that plague military veterans. But above and beyond that, our group focuses on the youth population aged 10 to 24 and nearly 50% of all enlisted active duty military are under the age of 25. We need to remember that many of our combat veterans are still very young, experiencing horrible tragedies and stress associated with active combat, and lacking the resources needed to preserve their mental well being.