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Sen. Ernst Working to Prevent Veteran Suicides

Source: WHO

Sen. Joni Ernst says there wasn`t a dry eye in her Washington, D.C. office when she and her staff watched our special report that aired Monday night.

It`s the story of Kate and Brandon Lay. Brandon is a Marine veteran who suffers from PTSD. When he came home, it led to drug abuse.

The couple shared how they are tackling those demons head-on ad helping other veterans through a new wilderness therapy project.

Senator Ernst is a veteran.  She says there need to be more veterans like Brandon Lay.

“We need those veterans to come forward, those that have faced these challenges.  They need to step forward and say you know what?  I have been through this and I am here to help other veterans that have experienced similar issues,” says Ernst. “They need to know that it`s okay.  It`s okay to come forward.  It`s okay to seek help.” 

Ernst was among the senators who unanimously passed a new Veterans Suicide Prevention Bill this week.

Among other things, the bill establishes a peer-to-peer support program — one that will help vets transition back into civilian life.

It aims to attract and retain more psychiatrists for the VA and it paves the way for the VA to collaborate with non-profit mental health organizations.

The bill is headed for the president`s desk.

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