Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill
Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill Moves on to Senate

The House passed a major veteran suicide prevention bill Tuesday, with the measure now moving on to the Senate for a final vote.

According to Military Times:

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention bill, named for a Marine veteran activist who took his own life in 2011, would improve access to mental health care for troops and veterans, enhance Veterans Affairs Department recruiting efforts for psychiatrists, and mandate evaluations of existing prevention programs to ensure their effectiveness.

House lawmakers approved the measure by a simple voice vote without objection, calling the legislation a critical outreach effort to veterans in need.

But whether the bill becomes a last-minute triumph for veterans advocates or another gridlock disappointment will depend on whether the Senate also can approve the measure by the end of the week.

Senate leaders have not yet committed to a vote on the bill, despite bipartisan support, and veterans advocates worry that the $22 million price tag could raise objections from some conservative members.

“Richard and I hope the Senate can now move swiftly and galvanize bipartisan support to ensure our veterans are not waiting to get the resources they desperately need,” Susan Selke, mother of Clay Hunt, said in a release. “This bill will save lives, and veterans who are struggling don’t have time to wait.”

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