Veteran Suicide Report Bill Introduced In Arizona Legislature
In Arizona, veterans are nearly four times as likely as other residents to die by suicide, according to an ASU study in 2016. This is a figure that is significantly higher than the national average. A bill was introduced in the state Legislature to analyse these statistics and study them further.
The House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill to establish an annual report of veteran suicides in the state. The measure is intended to better understand the issue and strengthen prevention efforts. Rep. Noel Campbell of Prescott voted for the bill. He hopes agencies won’t wait for the report to reach out to veterans.
“We’re going to have another study, and then some results will come out from that study and then it’s like so many government projects: it just falls flat on its face,” said Campbell. “We know as veterans that you can start talking to them right now. You can start identifying every one of them, young and old.”
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jay Lawrence of Scottsdale, agrees with Campbell’s concern and wants to increase outreach efforts to veterans. He announced that he would introduce the bill in legislature last summer.