WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump recently signed into law the bipartisan Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, which was introduced by Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), and Jim Banks (R-IN). The bill requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct an assessment of the responsibilities, workload, and vacancy rates of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Suicide Prevention Coordinators in order to address the troubling uptick in veteran suicides.
“We lose 20 veterans each day to suicide, which is 20 too many,” said Bost. “We have a duty to ensure veterans have access to critical tools and resources during their time of need, and this bipartisan legislation is a step in the right direction. Thank you to President Trump for signing this critical legislation into law to let our veterans know that they are not alone, and that help is available.”
Suicide Prevention Coordinators are the face of the VA’s efforts to combat veteran suicide. They identify high-risk veterans and ensure they receive appropriate care, conduct outreach, and promote awareness and suicide prevention best practices within VA, among other responsibilities. Many Suicide Prevention Coordinators report being overworked and unable to keep up with their many responsibilities. The Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act would help ensure these men and women have the tools and resources they need to provide veterans with critical mental health resources.