Senate panel OKs bill to lower veteran suicide rate
A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday, as lawmakers vowed quick action on a measure that was blocked in the last session of Congress.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously approved a bill named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day.

The House-passed measure would require the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans. It also would offer financial incentives to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who agree to work for the VA and assist military members as they transition from active duty to veteran status.
 
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