Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) has cosponsored H.R. 4640 -- the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act. This bipartisan legislation would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to complete a publicly available review of the deaths of all covered veterans who died by suicide during the preceding five-year period.
“The tragedy of our nation’s heroes taking their own lives must be stopped,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our veterans have put their lives on the line in service to their nation, and we owe it to them to provide the best care possible when they leave the service. I am proud to cosponsor this important legislation in order to help us better fight this problem and take care of our veterans.”
Current data suggest that every 65 minutes a veteran takes his or her own life. There is currently no data which confirms or denies that there are any associations between suicide and medical treatments our veterans may be receiving for service-related conditions. Accordingly, this bill is a first step in determining whether or not there is a correlation.
This bill would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to complete a publicly available review of the deaths of all covered veterans who died by suicide during the preceding five-year period. The review will include the total number of veterans who died by suicide during the five-year period; a list of the medications prescribed to, and found in the systems of, such veterans at the time of their deaths, and a summary of medical diagnoses by VA physicians which led to the prescribing of such medications; and a description of VA policies governing the prescribing of medications.