On Tuesday, State Senators Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York) and Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA-16 Butler/Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer) held a Roundtable Discussion regarding the issue of Veterans Suicide at the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“It was moving to hear the dedication that the professionals in the room had toward finding solutions,” said Sen. Regan, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee. “And I have no doubt that at the conclusion of our statewide discussions we will be able to implement impactful policy for our brave men and women that have worn the uniform.”
“It was my honor to participate in a crucial roundtable meeting to discuss ways to tackle the heartbreaking problem of veterans suicide,” said Congressman Kelly. “America’s vets, who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, are taking their own lives at an alarming rate. We must do all we can to understand why, and stop these preventable tragedies by getting our nation’s heroes the help they need and have earned.”
Senator Laughlin stated, “Working with Senator Regan alongside Congressman Kelly on how best to either prevent, or at least minimize, the effects of PTSD on our veterans is one of the things I am most proud of. Many good ideas were presented at our roundtable; I was glad that I was there to hear from our veterans.”
Senators Regan and Laughlin and Congressman Kelly were joined by federal, state and county officials from the Butler and Erie Veterans Affairs Offices, Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, along with the Directors of Veterans Affairs for Butler, Crawford, Erie, and Warren Counties.
The group discussed federal, state, and local efforts to combat Veterans Suicide and how best to coordinate efforts. Specific items mentioned were the national Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255), navigating the host of services available to veterans, more comprehensive post-deployment/re-acclimation periods, as well as additional VA Vet Centers, County Veterans Courts, Veterans Service Units in Prisons and Veterans Services Officers, all in order to get veterans the services they need.
This was the second in a series Roundtable Discussions that Senator Regan plans to hold. Additional Roundtables are expected to be held in Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, and southeast Pennsylvania with area Congress members and local groups and organizations focused on the issue of Veterans Suicide.
A link to the video from the Roundtable Discussion is available HERE.
Nate Silcox (Senator Regan), 717-787-8524 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Smith (Senator Laughlin) 814-453-2515 email@example.com
Andrew Eisenberger (Congressman Kelly) 202-225-5406 Andrew.Eisenberger@mail.house.gov