Washington, D.C. – Today, the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 2915), written by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), was approved by the full House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“As we commemorate Suicide Prevention Month this September, we will never forget the veterans whose lives have been tragically cut short, and their families. The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act will help save the lives of women veterans, who are nearly six times as likely to commit suicide compared to non-veteran women. We can, and must, do more to address this crisis,” said Brownley. “My bill will ensure that we understand which mental health and suicide prevention programs work best for the growing number of our sisters, daughters, and mothers who have so bravely served our nation.”
Brownley’s bill would require that VA’s evaluation of mental health care and suicide prevention programs include specific metrics on women veterans and that it require the VA to identify the programs that are the most effective, and have the highest satisfaction rates, among female veterans. A better understanding of which programs and practices are most effective will ensure the unique medical and physiological needs of women veterans and their families are addressed. The bill approved by the full House VA Committee also included language from legislation authored by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), which would ensure that veterans who served in the Special Forces or on classified missions are accommodated in VA mental health programs in settings where they can fully participate in counseling and therapy.