House Announces Comprehensive Strategy To Address Veteran Suicide
By PVA National Staff
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) recently announced a new strategy to address veteran suicide that is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Seven Core Strategies for Suicide Prevention.
Chairman Takano believes a strategy rooted in evidence-based measures, taking a public health approach that looks into every intersection that leads to suicide, is how to best serve veterans and reduce the number lost to it each day.
The strategy has seven goals: strengthen economic supports, strengthen access and delivery of care, create protective environments, promote connectedness, teach coping and problem-solving skills, identify and support people at risk, and lessen harms and prevent future risks for all veterans. It also supports taking these steps for all veterans, not just those already in VA care.
The Committee has already held two hearings to help strengthen economic support. The first was a hearing on veteran hunger and the second on housing insecurity.
A third hearing conducted by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, along with the Women Veteran Task Force, held a hearing examining VA’s support for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma, which is in line with goal six: identify and support people at risk of suicide. PVA was invited to submit a statement for the record on this issue.
We will continue to monitor and inform our members of legislative efforts to reduce veteran suicide, as well as advocate on the Hill for legislation that effectively addresses veteran suicide.