President Donald J. Trump (White House Official Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Friday, December 20, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 2333, the “Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act.”  The Act requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the suicide prevention coordinators within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The signing of this legislation is another step forward in the Trump Administration’s focus on addressing the high rate of suicides among veterans.  In early March, President Trump issued an Executive Order on a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide.  In that order, Trump stated he was, “issuing a national call to action to improve the quality of life of our Nation’s veterans — many of whom have risked their lives to protect our freedom while deployed, often multiple times, to areas of prolonged conflict.”

Further, the Executive Order established a Veteran Wellness, Empowerment, and Suicide Prevention Task Force.  Trump stated, “To reduce the veteran suicide rate, the Federal Government must work side-by-side with partners from State, local, territorial, and tribal governments — as well as private and non-profit entities — to provide our veterans with the services they need. At the same time, the Federal Government must advance our understanding of the underlying causal factors of veteran suicide. Our collective efforts must begin with the common understanding that suicide is preventable and prevention requires more than intervention at the point of crisis. The Federal Government, academia, employers, members of faith-based and other community, non-governmental, and non-profit organizations, first responders, and the veteran community must all work together to foster cultures in which veterans and their families can thrive.”

To read the full text of the Executive Order, see:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-national-roadmap-empower-veterans-end-suicide/

To watch a video at which President Trump announces the National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide, see below:

 

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