The Wall Street Journal (2/4, Kesling, Subscription Publication) reports that yesterday, the US Senate unanimously passed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. The measure now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.
The New York Times (2/4, A14, Oppel, Subscription Publication) reports that the legislation, named for Marine Sgt. Clay Hunt, who committed suicide after leaving the service, aims “to improve suicide prevention and mental health treatment programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Recent government data indicate that “an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves every day.” Even though “many are older veterans, a survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — which had made the Clay Hunt bill a centerpiece of its efforts to prevent veteran suicides — found that two out of five of its members knew a recent combat veteran who had committed suicide.”
— “Preventing Suicides Among Veterans Is at Center of Bill Passed by Senate,” Robert A. Oppel Jr., New York Times, February 3, 2015.