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Veterans’ benefits for suicide prevention get boost from Obama

In our blog last week, we discussed how veterans can use suicide prevention programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs if they are feeling like they want to harm themselves. In recent news along those same lines, President Obama acknowledged that members of the military need special help when it comes to suicide prevention.

President Obama signed legislation that requires the Veterans Affairs Department and the Pentagon to submit their suicide prevention programs for independent reviews. It also stipulates that these agencies must make the suicide prevention programs easily available to veterans.

The legislation is named after Clay Hunt, a Marine veteran who committed suicide in Texas in 2011. He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he took his own life. President Obama remarked that for many veterans, flashbacks and nightmares don’t go away and that people who haven’t gone through similar situations don’t know what it is like to go through what many veterans go through during their tours of duty.

The law signed by President Obama offers incentives for mental health professionals who are willing to work with the VA. These financial incentives are meant to help encourage these professionals to help people make the transition to veterans from active duty.

Taking care of our military men and women has to be a priority in this country. While this law is a step in the right direction, the sad fact is that some veterans still aren’t getting the help and services they need to live the life they deserve. Working through the red tape of some programs is hard for veterans. Finding someone to help them work through it all might help them to get the services and assistance they deserve.

Source: Military Times, “Obama signs Clay Hunt veterans suicide prevention bill” Jim Kuhnhenn, Feb. 12, 2015