Caucus Launch for 113th Congress

Feb 26, 2013

The recent dramatic increase in suicides among members of our military and veterans is a travesty that concerns us all.  This highlights the importance of providing robust and effective mental health services.  We write today to invite you to join the Congressional Military Mental Health Caucus.

  • As reported by the AP, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, NBC, Time and others, military service members committed suicide during 2012 at a record pace: more than 349 took their own lives across the four branches, outpacing combat deaths.  
  • According to the Department of Veterans Affairs 2012 Suicide Data Report, there have been 18-22 veteran suicide deaths per day over the last 12-years.
  • In FY 2012, non-fatal suicide attempts among veterans were reported for almost 11,000 VA users, corresponding to nearly 15,000 suicide attempts that year.
  • The suicide epidemic also puts the families of veterans at risk.  The American Association of Suicidology estimates at least a doubling of the risk factor for suicide among family members.

The Caucus serves as an informal group of Members who are dedicated to discussing, understanding, and advancing issues pertaining to the mental health of our military, veterans, and their families.  We host briefings and roundtable discussions with subject matter experts, disseminate information, and provide resources to Members and their staff in order for them to learn more about these challenges.