Sunday, January 06, 2013
Murray pushes for a plan for veterans and servicemembers
Senator Patty Murray (at the head of the table in the photo above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Her office issued the following last week:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
CONTACT: Murray Press Office
MILITARY SUICIDE: Murray Effort to Create Standardized Suicide Prevention Program Signed into Law by President Obama
New law will eliminate gaps in care from one service to the next; change comes in response to major review of military suicide prevention programs
(Washington, D.C.) -- Today, an amendment sponsored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, that would require the Pentagon to implement a standardized and comprehensive suicide prevention program was signed into law by the President as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (S.3254). Murray crafted the amendment after a major study by the RAND Corporation showed that there are serious gaps and a lack of consistency in military services' suicide prevention programs. The new law comes as the number of active duty suicides continues to rise with 2012 exceeding 2011.
"This law is another step forward in our efforts to ensure that servicemembers aren't slipping through the cracks," said Senator Murray. "It will help to not only standardize suicide prevention efforts, but also contains provisions to reduce wait times, ensure proper diagnoses, and achieve true coordination of care and information between the Pentagon and the VA. We cannot afford to be passive about the military suicide epidemic we face. We must continue to respond with every legislative and outreach effort possible in order to turn this tragic trend around."
Senator Murray's amendment [calls on] the Department of Defense to create a comprehensive, standardized suicide prevention program; expand eligbility for Department of Veterans Affairs mental health services to family members; strengthen oversight of DoD Mental Health Care and the Integrated Disability Evaluation System; improve training and education for our health care providers; create more peer-to-peer counseling opportunities; and require VA to establish accurate and reliable measures for mental health services. For more information on Senator Murray's ACCESS Act which was signed into law as part of the Defense Authorization Act visit:
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
202-224-2834 - press office
202--224-0228 - direct