An amendment to expand mental healthcare for the military has been approved by the Senate. In the wake of the rising number of suicides within the military, the Defense authorization bill has been amended to require the Pentagon to create a comprehensive and standardized suicide prevention program.
According to the Washington Post, the amendment, which was offered by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), was approved by voice vote Tuesday night and will be included in the bill being considered by the Senate.
“I think everyone in this body knows about, and is distressed by, the alarming rate of suicide and the mental health problems in our military and veterans populations,” Murray said on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.
If the Defense authorization bill passes in the senate, the new amendment also expands eligibility for some Department of Veterans Affairs mental health services to family members, strengthens the oversight of the Pentagon’s mental health programs, and promotes the use of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as peer counselors for fellow veterans.
Source: Washington Post