In a recent editorial in Military Times editorial, former secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi (2001-2005) outlined the necessity of passing suicide prevention legislation currently making its way through congressional overview.

In particular he referred to the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act passed by the Senate in August.

Cmdr. John Scott Hannon was distinguished service member in U.S. Special Operations Command who took his life in 2018.

“The Senate’s unanimous vote shows how the power of a good idea can cut through the usual partisan divide and win quick support, and it’s critical that the House take up this work and pass the bill as well,” wrote Principi.

The legislation would establish a new grant program that would let the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) fund community organizations across America that can work to identify at-risk veterans and promote early intervention at the ground level.

“I urge House leaders to pass it quickly so all of America can get to work and help our veterans in need,” he wrote.

Photo by US Army National Guard/Sgt. Roger Jackson