Senate panel backs bill to lower suicide rate among vets - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Senate panel backs bill to lower suicide rate among vets

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A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans has cleared a Senate committee, and lawmakers say they hope the measure will soon be signed into law by President Barack Obama. A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans has cleared a Senate committee, and lawmakers say they hope the measure will soon be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON -

A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans has cleared a Senate committee, and lawmakers say they hope the measure will soon be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day.

The House-passed measure would require the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans. It also would offer financial incentives to psychiatrists who agree to work for the VA and assist military members leaving active duty.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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