The issues of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide among veterans has reached an epidemic level in America, especially among combat veterans.
According to a study done by the National Alliance on Mental Health, nearly 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and 950 suicide attempts per month by veterans that were receiving assistance through the VA.
The Clay Hunt SAV — named in honor of the late Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran and suicide prevention advocate Clay Hunt — unanimously passed the House in the 113th Congress. It was widely supported in the Senate, but was blocked
by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
This bill requires the VA Secretary to carry out a three-year pilot program to repay the education loans relating to psychiatric medicine that are incurred by individuals who are:
Eligible to practice psychiatric medicine in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or are enrolled in the final year of a residency program.
This program must lead to a specialty qualification in psychiatric medicine, demonstrate a commitment to a long-term career as a psychiatrist in the VHA, and agree to a period of obligated service with the VHA in psychiatric medicine.
The VA Secretary would be directed to carry out a program as part of the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program. Under which the VA Secretary and an institution of higher education (IHE) agree to cover the full cost of charges not covered by post-9/11 educational assistance incurred by veterans who:
The VA Secretary would be allowed to cover up to 64 percent of those charges, if the school covers the remainder.
Directs the VA Secretary to establish a pilot program at five or more Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) to assist veterans transitioning from active duty, and improve the access to mental health services. Requires the pilot program at each VISN to include: