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Gov. Ducey signs legislation to help prevent veteran suicides

Younger veterans face growing risks of suicide, though there are programs that can help.
Younger veterans face growing risks of suicide, though there are programs that can help.(US Army)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 3:54 PM MST
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Today, Arizona Governor Ducey signed new legislation aimed to reduce the number of veteran suicides in the state.

HB 2542 allows the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services to submit statistical data on veteran suicides from the Be Connected Program to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The Be Connected Program connects more than half a million service members, veterans and families in Arizona with behavioral health services and peer support.

The bill is an expansion of previous legislation (HB 2488), which was signed in 2019 and requires AZDHS to annually compile this data.

The governor’s office says the report seeks to decrease the number of veteran suicides by tracking data, understanding historic trends in veteran suicide and analyzing potential risk factors and patterns that may lead to suicide among service members.

“The challenges that our nation’s heroes face while they serve don’t disappear when they return,” said Governor Ducey. “It’s important that our veterans, service members and their families receive the resources and support they need, especially when they are experiencing mental or emotional hardships. I am proud to sign this legislation, and I’m grateful to Representative Wilmeth and the Department of Veterans’ Services for their work to protect those who have done so much to protect us.”

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