HARRISBURG, Sept. 1 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, has introduced a resolution to spotlight the tragic actions some veterans take after returning from deployments to overseas conflicts.
House Resolution 463 would declare September as “Military Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
Schweyer said his resolution will join other outreach efforts regarding suicide prevention and awareness, including World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10) and World Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 8 through Sept. 14).
“It’s so very tragic that many of our military men and women put their lives on the line to defend our country, only to turn around and take their own life,” Schweyer said. “We need to ensure our soldiers returning from duty receive the treatment they need to prevent these horrible consequences.”
Schweyer noted a Department of Veterans Affairs study found that about 8,000 veterans took their lives in 2010, an average of 22 veterans per day. This suicide rate is about 50 percent higher than the rate among civilians with similar demographic characteristics.
“We must take action as a commonwealth and as a community to prevent future suicides from happening,” Schweyer said.