Washington, D.C. —
Last night, Congressman Leonard Boswell (IA-3) successfully passed his amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations bill that increases critical funding for suicide prevention for active duty military by $10 million.
“We have a responsibility to eliminate the stigma shrouding mental health issues so our soldiers get the proper care they deserve. That means providing the necessary resources to educate, diagnose and treat. Our troops and their families depend on Congress to do the right thing on this issue. I’m pleased my colleagues joined me in setting politics aside to address this serious issue among our service members.”
Boswell, a 20-year Army veteran, has been a longtime proponent of military service-members’ and veterans’ health issues. In May, Boswell successfully included an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which directed the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the effects of multiple deployments on the well-being of military personnel and their families. Additionally, Boswell was also able to pass his amendment that required the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments to conduct a joint study on the incidence rate of breast cancer in service members and veterans.
In 2007, Boswell’s legislation, the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, was the first major legislation passed and signed into law to address and prevent veteran suicide. Since enactment, the Veterans Crisis Hotline and VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators have made more than 21,000 life-saving rescues.