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Ryan C.
Republican PA 6

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  • Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act

    by Representative Ryan A. Costello

    Posted on 2015-01-12

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    COSTELLO of Pennsylvania. I thank the distinguished gentleman from Florida for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to express my support of Congressman Tim Walz's Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.

    It is a privilege to serve on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and in this Congress, to work to improve the quality of life for our Nation's veterans, their families, and their caregivers.

    In the coming months, I look forward to working in a bipartisan, commonsense manner with dedicated Members and veterans like my colleague from Minnesota (Mr. Walz) to find solutions to help our Nation's veterans transition to civilian life.

    One of the most critical areas that we as a committee and Congress must work to establish is comprehensive, timely, responsive, and effective mental health care services for our post- 9/11 veterans, many of whom have served our country for multiple deployments in conditions not witnessed or experienced by any other generation of soldier.

    This bill first prioritizes bringing accountability to the VA. By bringing in a third party to conduct an annual evaluation within the Department of Veterans Affairs, we can better provide agency accountability by doing just this.

    Second, we must provide better access to mental health services for our veterans and their families. This bill does just that.

    Finally, it helps facilitate and increase awareness for peer and community support providers for our veterans and their families.

    This commonsense legislation works towards those priorities of providing an accountable and supportive VA for our veterans, in furtherance of helping veterans get the best treatment possible.

    So, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation to promote mental health support for our Nation's heroes and thank Congressman Walz for his leadership on this important legislation.

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