Florida Senate - 2022                                     SM 302
       By Senator Burgess
       20-00472-22                                            2022302__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to the Congress of the United States,
    3         urging Congress to recognize the epidemic of suicide
    4         among veterans and to fully fund suicide prevention
    5         efforts of the United States Department of Veterans
    6         Affairs.
    8         WHEREAS, according to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide
    9  Prevention Annual Report published by the United States
   10  Department of Veterans Affairs, there was an average of 17.6
   11  veteran suicides per day in 2018, totaling 6,435 veteran
   12  suicides that year, and
   13         WHEREAS, the department has found that veterans who die by
   14  suicide are more likely than the civilian population to have
   15  experienced sleep disorders, chronic pain, or traumatic brain
   16  injuries or to have received diagnoses of mental health
   17  conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar
   18  disorder, personality disorder, substance use disorder,
   19  schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, and
   20         WHEREAS, some veterans have reported difficulty in
   21  transitioning to civilian employment, as their highly developed
   22  skills obtained during military service may not translate to
   23  higher level civilian jobs, and the resulting economic
   24  struggles, which may include unemployment, poverty, and
   25  homelessness, are shown to be risk factors for veteran suicide,
   26  and
   27         WHEREAS, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’
   28  Veteran Crisis Line is the world’s largest provider of crisis
   29  call, text, and chat services for veterans, receiving
   30  approximately 650,000 calls per year, and
   31         WHEREAS, the department has made significant progress in
   32  the area of suicide prevention through clinical research, the
   33  development and testing of evidence-based psychotherapy methods
   34  and medications, and behavioral, complementary, and alternative
   35  approaches to treating veterans with posttraumatic stress
   36  disorder and other mental health conditions, and
   37         WHEREAS, the department is partnered with hundreds of
   38  national and local organizations and corporations, including
   39  veterans service organizations, professional sports teams, and
   40  major employers, in order to raise awareness of its suicide
   41  prevention resources and to educate the public about supporting
   42  veterans and servicemembers in their communities, and
   43         WHEREAS, although RAND Corporation studies have found that
   44  the United States Department of Veterans Affairs outperforms
   45  other systems in the area of mental health care, the rising
   46  trend in veteran suicides continues to plague the men and women
   47  who selflessly served in the United States Armed Forces and
   48  devastate their families, friends, and loved ones, NOW,
   51  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53         That the Congress of the United States is urged to
   54  recognize the current crisis of veteran suicide and to fully
   55  fund suicide prevention efforts undertaken by the United States
   56  Department of Veterans Affairs.
   57         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
   58  dispatched to the President of the United States, to the
   59  President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the
   60  United States House of Representatives, and to each member of
   61  the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.