Yesterday, Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland & York), Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester & Delaware), Representative Steve Barrar (R-Chester & Delaware) and Representative Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) held a Roundtable Discussion regarding the issue of Veterans Suicide at the Concord Township Municipal Building, in Delaware County.
“The statistics are staring directly at us in the face — with twenty-two veterans committing suicide each day and with veterans suicide twice the rate of the general population,” said Sen. Regan, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee. “I was pleased to be joined by Senator Killion, Representative Barrar and Representative Quinn in southeastern PA — talking with area professionals that are dealing with veterans and their issues on an every-day basis. As we soon wrap up our Roundtables in November, we will start acting on legislation to address Veterans Suicide.”
“I thank Chairman Regan for coming to Delaware County,” said Sen. Killion. “I was pleased to participate in this important discussion. Veterans who have risked their lives so that we may live in peace and freedom are owed our eternal gratitude. We also owe them a debt to do all within our ability to address and remedy the physical and psychological toll their service has taken on them.”
“Mental health care for our veteran community is a top priority for myself and the House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, which I chair,” said Rep. Barrar. “We must remain vigilant on ways to partner with the Federal VA and the private sector to provide quality and accessible mental healthcare for our veterans. We owe this to our veterans and their families. We, the citizens of this commonwealth and country, truly are the beneficiaries of their great sacrifices.”
“I want to thank Senator Regan for hosting this roundtable to bring awareness and action upon such a pressing issue,” said Rep. Quinn. “There was valuable testimony across the board from veterans organizations and county, local, state and federal personnel. These heroes who are taking their own lives are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives. Our veterans have served our nation proudly. We owe it to them to use this information provided and support them in any way possible.”
The legislators, along with Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, were joined by officials from the Coatesville VA, PA Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, PA Department of Corrections, PA Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs, PA Department of Human Services, and the Chester and Philadelphia County Veterans Affairs Offices, along with representatives of the Berks Counseling Center, Family Service Association of Bucks County, Veterans Multi-Service Center, and Volunteers of America.
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 to available to veterans, Public Service Announcements to help change the stigma associated with veterans seeking help, 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 fifth of six Roundtable Discussions that Senator Regan plans to hold. A final Roundtable will be held in November in the Lehigh Valley.
Please click HERE to view the Roundtable.
John Kelemen (Senator Killion), 215-459-2800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rene Morrow (Representative Quinn), 717-260-6273 email@example.com
Donna Pinkham (Representatives Barrar), 717-260-6452 Dpinkham@pahousegop.com
Nate Silcox (Senator Regan), 717-787-8524 firstname.lastname@example.org