House backs bill to lower suicide rate among vets

The House has approved a bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day.

A bill named for Clay Hunt, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who killed himself in 2011, was approved Tuesday on a voice vote. The bill would require the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs.

It also would establish a website to provide information on available to veterans, offer to psychiatrists who agree to work for the VA and create a pilot program to assist veterans transitioning from active duty to veteran status.

The suicide rate among veterans is about triple the average rate for the general population.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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