Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following statement after President Trump signed his landmark veteran suicide prevention legislation—the Veterans’ COMPACT Act— into law.
Watch full video statement from Chairman Takano here.
“This weekend, the President signed the Veterans’ COMPACT Act into law, marking real progress in our work to reduce veteran suicide.
“This bill contains nine provisions – introduced by both Democratic and Republican members – that take a holistic approach to improving care and enhancing veterans’ mental health and well-being.
“These provisions will:
- help us better understand the needs of women veterans, especially those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity;
- help family members understand how they can support the veterans in their lives;
- examine a Department of Veterans Affairs program that contacts and supports new veterans;
- remind veterans who haven’t used VA healthcare recently of the services VA provides;
- ensure VA police officers are familiar with mental health challenges and competent in critical de-escalation techniques;
- establish an inter-agency Task Force to increase veterans’ access to our public lands for healing and recreation; and finally;
- provide free mental health stabilization care for veterans experiencing an acute suicidal crisis–my provision to take cost out of the equation when veterans are at imminent risk of self-harm.
“While the COMPACT Act takes major steps to address gaps in care and intervention, we still can – and we must – do more to reduce veteran suicide. We need to expand VA’s lethal means safety training. We need to address native veterans’ access to culturally competent mental health and suicide prevention care at VA. We need to make sure VA community mental health care providers are trained in military cultural competence and evidence-based treatments. We need to do more to ensure women veterans and veterans of color have an easier pathway to VA benefits and health care.
“I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle and with our colleagues in the Senate on solutions to improve the quality of life and care for our veterans in the 117th Congress and beyond.”
If you or a veteran you know are struggling, contact the Veteran Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 and select option 1, or text 838255.
Original Source: https://veterans.house.gov/news/press-releases/chairman-takanos-landmark-veterans-compact-act-signed-into-lawBack To Blog