California will now track suicide among veterans
San Diego Union Tribune
September 12, 2017
At least 27 vets under age 45 died by suicide in San Diego County over 18 months. The San Diego Union-Tribune tracked down the families, friends and medical examiner records of these young veterans.
A new law will require California officials to compile statistics on how many military veterans are committing suicide in the state.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation Monday.
One of the law’s proponents said the new requirement makes California one of 22 states to accurately report veteran suicide.
Assembly Bill 242 was introduced by two Fresno assemblymen, Republican Jim Patterson and Democrat Joaquin Arambula.
Specifically, the legislation requires the California Department of Public Health to report the number of veteran suicides every year to the state Legislature and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
The data would come from county coroners.
“Not knowing how many of those heroes are making the decision to end their lives is not acceptable,” Patterson said in a released statement.
“Men and women returning home to California after serving their country deserve all the help we can give them.”
California is home to the nation’s largest population of veterans.
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