5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is leading a bipartisan effort to urge House leaders not to cut federal funding to veteran suicide prevention and outreach programs. She and more than 125 representatives sent a letter to officials that requests $173 million in funding--the same level as this fiscal year --to address the veteran suicide crisis.
20 veterans take their own lives each day, according to a comprehensive 2016 study conducted by the VA.
The study found that in the year 2014 alone, more than 7,400 veterans committed suicide. Veterans account for about 18 percent of all suicides in the United States, despite making up less than 9 percent of the population.
VA suicide prevention and outreach programs include a 24/7 Crisis Line; screening, assessment, and early intervention procedures for at-risk veterans; in-person counseling; TeleMental health services; peer-to-peer support; coaching for family caregivers; partnerships with educational and health institutions; and social media outreach.