PHOENIX – A new bill, HB 2542, that will track veteran suicides, received unanimous support in the Arizona House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-15), requires additional data to be included in the annual veteran suicide report produced by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
According to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report
● The average number of suicide deaths per day continues to increase within the general population. The average rose from 86.6 per day in 2005 to 124.4 in 2017 and 127.4 in 2018.
● The average number of Veteran suicides per day rose from 16.6 in 2005 to 17.6 in 2018. From 2017 to 2018, the average number of Veteran suicides per day rose from 17.5 to 17.6.
“America’s military veterans stepped up and put their lives on the line to defend our freedom,” said Wilmeth in a press release. “Finding ways to better care for the men and women who have served us should be our highest priority as elected officials. HB 2542 will improve the state’s efforts to identify trends and effective points of intervention to assist the more than 500,000 veterans currently living in Arizona. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues for this important legislation.”