Obama Signs Suicide Prevention for Veterans Act Into Law

President Obama signed a law on Thursday to fight a wave of suicide among veterans.



President Obama signed a measure into law on Thursday to fight a wave of suicide among veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress, a problem that has won increased attention as American troops have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The measure, passed by unanimous votes in the House and Senate, was designed to make it easier for veterans to find mental health resources, do more to recruit and retain professionals to help them and increase accountability for the government programs serving them.

By some estimates, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States. While that includes older veterans who kill themselves years after their service, not just those who have recently come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, studies show that the rate is higher among those who do not receive mental health care.

But in his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Obama stressed that fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs is only part of the solution.

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