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Ernst applauds House passage of Female Veterans Suicide Prevention Act

This news story was published on June 22, 2016.
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Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, today applauded passage of the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act  in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Ernst, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) in the House, would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify the most effective programs and approaches in reducing suicide rates among female veterans. The bill previously passed the Senate and now, following House passage, heads to the President’s desk.

“Each day, we lose 22 veterans to suicide, and the suicide rate among our female veterans is higher than that of male veterans when compared to the general population,”  said Senator Ernst.  “One veteran’s life lost to suicide is too many, and we absolutely must do better for our veterans to ensure they have the quality and timely mental health care they need to transition back to civilian life. I am thankful to Representative Brownley for her work in the House, and encourage President Obama to quickly sign this important legislation into law.”

“I’m so pleased this legislation is on its way to the President’s desk because it will save lives among our nation’s female veterans,” said Congresswoman Brownly.  “The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act will lead to a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the alarmingly high suicide rates among women veterans so that we can design more effective suicide prevention programs.”

“The current rate of suicide among women veterans is heartbreaking and unacceptable,”  Senator Boxer said . “I am proud that the House and Senate have come together to pass this bipartisan bill to help ensure that female veterans get the mental health care and the support they need at the VA.”

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