Cong. Tony Gonzales Pushes Bill to End Veteran Suicide

“After serving our country, no veteran should feel that they lack access to the lifesaving mental health treatment they may need,”
 
Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Representatives Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Susie Lee (D-NV), Colin Allred (D-TX), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), alongside Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), on Wednesday introduced the bipartisan, bicameral VA Zero Suicide Demonstration Project Act. This bill would launch the Zero Suicide Initiative Pilot Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
 
“As a veteran, I know not all our injuries are physical,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX).

“On average, we lose 17 veterans to suicide every day – and that’s 17 too many. The VA Zero Suicide Demonstration Act works to bolster VA suicide prevention efforts and improves the way our VA system approaches mental health.”
 
The Zero Suicide Initiative is a program founded by the Henry Ford Health Care System on the basis that all suicides are preventable with proper care, patient safety, and system-focused efforts. This legislation would implement more comprehensive, systems-focused Zero Suicide efforts in pilot programs at five VA medical centers across the country. 
 
“Every day in this country, seventeen veterans take their own lives – but even one is too much,” said Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV). “We need to do everything in our power to bring veteran deaths by suicide to zero. Of the 17 veteran deaths by suicide each day, on average, seven are among active VA patients. While we must ensure all our veterans are getting the mental health care and the resources they need, we must make a commitment to eliminating deaths by suicide among those within the VA system’s care. The Zero Suicide Initiative offers a proven, system-wide approach to close gaps, improve communication, and increase accountability within the VA, so that no veteran slips through the cracks. The goal is to expand this program to reach every veteran in America. For those men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom, both Democrats and Republicans have to come together to support this bill. We all acknowledge that we owe each and every veteran all the resources they need to recover from the wounds of war – visible and invisible.”
 
“Nevada’s veterans deserve to have all the support they need after sacrificing so much to serve our country, and that includes better access to critical mental health services,” 
said Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “With veteran suicide rates 50% higher than those for non-veteran adults, it’s urgent that we tackle this issue. Our bipartisan legislation will help VA medical centers implement a Zero Suicide framework that delivers comprehensive treatment and prevents veterans who are struggling from falling through the cracks.” 

“We need to find ways to lower suicide rates among veterans and get the brave men and women who fought for our country help when they need it,” 
said Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). “Our bill establishes a pilot program aimed at lowering suicide risk for VA patients and improving mental health, safety, and suicide care for veterans.”

“After serving our country, no veteran should feel that they lack access to the lifesaving mental health treatment they may need,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). “I am glad to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that will launch a Zero Suicide Initiative Pilot Program at the VA. This program has seen wide success at other health care facilities and its implementation at the VA is critical to combat the troubling rise of veteran suicide.”

“We can never repay our debt of gratitude to those who have served our country which is why we must keep our promise to veterans when they return home,” said Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX). “We have an urgent need to address veteran suicide, and we must be considering innovative solutions that are backed up with strong evidence to ensure we don’t lose any more veterans. That is why I’m so honored to co-lead the introduction of this bill that will establish a pilot program to see how we can best serve our veterans to prevent veteran suicide.”
U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX) by N/A is licensed under N/A
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