Donnelly on Military Suicides: “Acceptable Number is Zero” Senator discussed his efforts at the Atlantic Council including bipartisan “Care Package” and Jacob Sexton Act that have been signed into law Thursday, December 10, 2015But only as long as no one is asking what good he's done, or any member of Congress, to actually achieve reducing suicides in the military or among veterans.
Last year, 443 servicemembers were lost to suicide, making it the third consecutive year that suicides surpassed combat casualties. Through the first six months of 2015, more than 200 servicemembers were lost to suicide, according to the Pentagon.Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly discussed his successful legislative efforts aimed at preventing military suicide and improving mental health care for servicemembers, as the featured special guest at an Atlantic Council event, How Congress Should Take Care of Those Who Serve Our Country. Donnelly has worked the past three years to advance commonsense, bipartisan legislation through his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. His bipartisan “Servicemember and Veterans Mental Health Care Package (“Care Package”)” recently was signed into law as part of the national defense bill and will improve military mental health care quality and access for servicemembers.
As for veterans committing suicide, they are still double the civilian rate even though they have been calling for help.
**Updated: Now includes data through 3rd quarter 2015** Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 2 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis over 53,000 times.
The Veterans Crisis Line anonymous online chat service, added in 2009, has engaged in more than 250,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service to provide another way for Veterans to connect with confidential, round-the-clock support, and since then has responded to more than 44,000 texts.