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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 25, 2015 09:58 AM
From: Representative Peter Schweyer
To: All House members
Subject: Military Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution declaring September as “Military Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

My resolution focuses attention on the crisis currently engulfing veterans returning from recent deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Department of Veterans Affairs study found that about 8,000 veterans killed themselves in 2010, an average of 22 veterans per day. That particular suicide rate is about 50% higher than the rate among other civilians with similar demographic characteristics.

In 2012, the Austin Texas newspaper, The American-Statesman, investigated the deaths of 266 Texans who served during the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. The newspaper study showed that 45 committed suicide, making it the fourth-leading cause of death behind illness, accidents and drug-related death. Suicide accounted for 3.6 percent of all Texas deaths over the same period, compared with 16.9 percent of the veterans the newspaper studied.

This recognition will join other outreach efforts regarding suicide prevention and awareness, alongside World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and World Suicide Prevention Week (September 8th through September 14th).

I appreciate your consideration of a co-sponsorship.

Introduced as HR463