BY KATHY CLINE
JULY 23, 2018
“Before you can solve a problem, you’ve got to realize the extent of the problem,” said Mike Scerbo, spokesman for the family of Antouine Castaneda. Castaneda — a decorated Army Ranger who signed up after 911 — took his life on his 32nd birthday, July 23, 2015.
Rep. Jay Lawrence at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on July 23, 2018. (KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)
PHOENIX — A bill that would require the compilation of veteran suicide statistics could be introduced next session in the Arizona Legislature.
State Rep. Jay Lawrence — a Republican who chairs the House Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs Committee — hasn’t written the bill yet. In fact, he’s only submitted suggestions to the Arizona Legislative Council.
He does plan to have something ready for the coming legislative session.
As Lawrence envisions it: “[The bill would] require the state of Arizona to compile a report on veteran suicide and provide that report to the Legislature and the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning Jan. 1, 2020.”
A November 2017 study from Arizona State University found Arizona veterans were almost four times as likely to commit suicide as nonveterans.
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