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President Trump's PREVENTS Task Force Report Includes Bergman's Initiative to End Veteran Suicide

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, President Trump released the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Task Force report. The report underscores the need for bold legislative action and includes support for the policy outlined in Rep. Bergman's Improve Well-being for Veterans Act. The following statement was issued:

"I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to sit down with the PREVENTS Task Force at the White House to discuss ways we can work together to end Veteran suicide. President Trump along with Secretary Wilkie have taken this issue to heart and have put together an unprecedented effort to destigmatize and bring this important issue to the front of the American conscience. I applaud the Task Force report calling for more bold action from Congress - passing the IMPROVE Act is a perfect start to do what is right by those who have sacrificed so much for our nation," said Rep. Bergman.

"The release of the PREVENTS Task Force report today once again makes it clear that Congress must pass General Bergman's bipartisan Improve Well-Being for Veterans Act without any further delay. The status quo has left 20 of our nation's veterans dying by suicide everyday for two decades. General Bergman's bill is the bold, decisive action we need to save their lives," said Ranking Member, Dr. Phil Roe.

To read the full PREVENTS Task Force report, click here.

To learn more about the Improve Well-Being for Veterans Act, as introduced, click here.

Background:

Over the past 15 years, billions of dollars have been appropriated by Congress for mental health services within the VA --with the most recent budget request reaching $9.4 billion-- but the statistic has remained unchanged: more than 20 Veteran and Servicemember suicides per day.
On June 26, 2019, Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced the IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act (Incorporating Measurements and Providing Resources for Outreach to Veterans Everywhere) in the U.S. House of Representatives as a companion to legislation of the same name introduced by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Warner (D-VA). [See the original release HERE for more background]

To address the status quo, the "IMPROVE" Act would:

Enable the VA to directly or indirectly reach more Veterans than it currently does;
Increase coordination among currently disparate community resources that serve a wide variety of Veteran needs -- all of which play a part in reducing the feeling of purposelessness that ends in suicide; and
Create and inspire broad adoption of a measurement tool that will indicate effectiveness of services provided for Veterans suicide prevention.

If you or a Veteran you know is struggling, please contact the Veteran Crisis Line which is available 24/7, 365 days a year at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or text 838-255.


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