WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, applauded the signing of their bill, the Female Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (S. 2487), into law. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Ernst, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) in the House, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify the most effective programs and approaches in reducing suicide rates among female veterans. The President signed the Female Veterans Suicide Prevention Act on June 30th, 2016.
“We lose 22 veterans to suicide each day and tragically, female veterans commit suicide at six times the rate of non-military females,” said Senator Ernst. “We must do more to help those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms. I am pleased that our legislation was signed into law, and thank my colleagues in the Senate and House for their hard work to make this initiative a reality.”
“The alarming rate of suicide among female veterans demanded immediate action,” said Senator Boxer. “I am proud that President Obama has signed into law our bill to help ensure women veterans get the mental health care and support they need at the VA. These courageous women deserve nothing less.”
"Improving access to quality mental health care programs and professionals is a critical part of supporting our veterans when they return home," said Senator Brown. "This new law will ensure that the VA assesses mental health programs to more effectively serve female veterans."
“Now that it has been signed into law, our bipartisan bill will help literally save lives by ensuring VA is providing the care, counseling and outreach our women veterans need to combat the invisible wounds of war,” said Senator Blumenthal. “This measure will help address the staggering rate of suicide among female veterans by ensuring that VA’s mental health and suicide prevention programs meet the gender-specific needs of our nation's women veterans.”
"I thank President Obama for signing this important bill, which will save women’s lives," said Congresswoman Brownley. "The new law will help us to better understand the factors that contribute to the alarmingly high suicide rates among women veterans so that we can design more effective suicide prevention programs.”
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