I wrote several blogs earlier this year about the suicide epidemic among teens in this country. In March, New York City School Chancellor Carmen Farina said that ten students in the New York City public school system had taken their own lives over a seven week period creating a “suicide epidemic” in our schools.

34091134_sWe now are dealing with a similar epidemic among active duty service members and veterans in this country. The Military Times reported in October that “suicides among active-duty service members rose by 20 percent in the second quarter of this year to 71, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Defense Department.”

Earlier this week, Roll Call reported that Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN),”called for action to address the issue of military suicide.” The Senator “noted that the annual defense authorization bill includes a ‘care package’ related to veterans’ mental health issues, which involves certifying practitioners who are veteran-friendly, providing training on suicide risk recognition and establishing an online registry of certified practitioners that veterans can access.”

In 2014, Donnelly’s bill known as the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act passed. It provided for annual mental health assessments for veterans. The Sexton Act is named after Indiana National Guardsman Jacob Sexton, who took his own life while home on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan.

Through his efforts Donnelly helped pass additional legislation relating to mental health care for service members and their families. Assessing suicide in the National Guard and the reserves and assessing suicide among military families were two key provisions. He also pushed to remove limits on mental health services. I have included a link below to read all of the provisions.

Suicide is a growing problem in this country.  It doesn’t discriminate.  Know the warning signs.  Here is a link to Real Warriors, Real Battles with a list of warning signs.  Below is a link to my blog with the warning signs for teens. Make sure to seek out professional advice if you think that a loved one is contemplating suicide.


Jacob Sexton Act & Provisions

The Warning Signs of Suicide

Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.


Originally available here