House Passes Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act
After being held up by concerns over veterans' ability to buy firearms, the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act passed the House with unanimous consent on Tuesday.
A provision calling for the tracking of veterans seeking mental health services led some lawmakers to express concern that veterans who sought help for PTSD would be flagged in the system used to conduct background checks for gun purchases. Before the bill reached the House, the Senate worked towards a compromise, removing the tracking requirement.
The Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act improves outreach to veterans and their families, provides better training for mental health professionals, promotes peer counseling, and requires 24-hour access to mental health services.
With one in three returning veterans experiencing mental health issues and the Army's recent report of the highest suicide rate among soldiers in 26 years, the passage of the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act is an important step towards ensuring that veterans receive the mental health care they need when they return from combat.
Posted by IAVA Staff on October 23
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