Military Suicide Prevention
One of Joe’s top priorities as a member of the Armed Services Committee is how to help prevent military and veteran suicides. With more servicemembers dying in 2013 as a result of suicide (479) than in combat in Afghanistan (132) and early data from 2014 showing too many servicemembers taking their own lives, Joe thinks that we must work nonstop to provide our servicemembers with the mental health services they need.
On this page are several resources to help you, or a servicemember or veteran you know, who might be dealing with mental health concerns.
Need help now?
Call the Military & Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 for assistance from trained specialists. Experts in mental help are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide immediate, completely confidential assistance. Visit http://veteranscrisisline.net/ for more information.
Looking for long-term help?
Download the information packet on the right sidebar for a comprehensive guide to preventing military suicide for servicemembers and their families.
Not sure where you stand?
Visit http://www.militarymentalhealth.org/ to take a mental health self-assessment. The screenings are 100% anonymous and are designed so you can review your situation with regard to some of the more common mental health issues including: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, alcohol problems, and others.
Joe's legislative efforts on military suicide prevention:
Joe’s first bill as U.S. Senator was the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act of 2013, which would have established a pilot program in each of the military services and reserve components to integrate better, annual mental health assessments into a servicemember’s Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) and identify risk factors for mental illness so that servicemembers can access preventative care. Learn more about the Sexton Act of 2013 here.
On May 7, 2014, Joe introduced the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act of 2014. This bill would make an immediate impact by requiring every servicemember--Active, Reserve, and Guard--to receive a quality mental health screening every year.
Watch Joe announce the reintroduction of a new, more targeted version of the Sexton Act here. Read the full text of the new bill here.
Joe's legislative efforts are named after Indiana Guardsman Jacob Sexton, who took his own life in 2009 while home on leave. He was a native of Farmland, Indiana, and Joe learned about his story when Jacob's father contacted Joe on the issue of military suicide.
In December 2014, the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act of 2014 was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
Watch Joe and Jeff Sexton talk about the passage of the bill named after Jacob here.