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Rising Tide of Veteran Suicides Concerns Oregon SenatorSalem-News.com
Senator Merkley Marks Military Appreciation Month by Co-Sponsoring Legislation to Prevent Suicide Among Veterans
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley visited Lines for Life on Friday to see its military helpline in action and met with veterans and veteran advocates to discuss how to stem the rising tide of suicide among veterans.
Senator Merkley also discussed legislation that he is supporting called the Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans (SAV) Act that would help shine a light on this issue and provide resources to prevent suicide among veterans.
“Too many of our men and women in uniform are coming home from battle with less visible wounds – PTSD, traumatic brain injury and depression. But we’re not making the same kind of commitment to treating those wounds of war,” said Merkley.
“We must do more and that’s why I’m supporting this legislation to provide more support and services to our veterans.”
The SAV Act expands mental health services for veterans, as well as improves the quality of care available. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that more than 22 veterans die by suicide each day. A recent study by the Oregon Health Authority reported that suicide is the leading cause of death among veterans under 45 years of age.
"Our vets have always been there for us in our times of need - now we need to make sure we are there for them,” said Dwight Holton, CEO of Lines for Life. “Senator Merkley's sponsorship of the SAV Act sends a clear message: 'I'm there for Oregon vets and their families.'"
The Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act will:
Source: Office of Senator Jeff Merkley
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