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Sen Hirono joins vote on Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act


Bill Will Improve Access To Mental Health Services & Suicide Prevention Measures For Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to advance H.R. 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, which would improve access to mental health services and suicide prevention resources for American veterans. Committee approval moves the bill, which passed the House 403-0 on January 12, one step closer to becoming law. If approved by the full Senate, the bill will go to President Obama’s desk.

“It is simply unacceptable that 22 American veterans commit suicide each day. Veterans have to face too much red tape in our bureaucratic system in order to receive help and this legislation will address staffing needs, and improve access and effectiveness of mental health care available to our veterans,” said Senator Hirono. “We owe a tremendous debt to our service members who have sacrificed for our country and our veterans deserve access to the best mental health services we can provide. I am proud to cosponsor the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act and hope that after today’s bipartisan action by the Veterans’ Committee the full Senate will pass the bill quickly.”

Senator Hirono is an original cosponsor of S. 167, the bipartisan Senate companion bill, which was introduced on January 13, 2015. Her support for the Clay Hunt SAV Act builds on her work as a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to improve veterans’ health care and demonstrates Senator Hirono’s ongoing commitment to fight to ensure our veterans have the highest quality care and expanded access to health care and other services.

As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Hirono has a strong record of fighting for veterans. She worked to include provisions to benefit Hawaii’s veterans in the landmark Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act which was signed into law by President Obama last year. This law expanded access to health care for veterans across the country, provided more resources for doctors and other health professionals to serve veterans, and other important provisions.

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