ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) annual national veteran suicide prevention report:
“The loss of even one veteran’s life is unacceptable, and preventing veteran suicide remains a top priority for our committee. The sharing of information between veterans, partnering organizations and the VA is critically important to finding solutions to this national problem. Our committee remains committed to working with the president’s task force and community partners to ensure those who have risked so much for our freedom receive the mental health care and support they need.”
According to the VA’s annual report, the number of veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to 2017.
In March, President Trump signed an executive order, called the “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide,” which established a cabinet-level task force responsible for creating a comprehensive strategy with federal, state and community leaders to engage the veteran community, improve resources and research, and help prevent the epidemic of veteran suicide.
In June, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and community organizations to discuss ongoing efforts to increase access to mental health care and reduce suicide in the veteran community.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.
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