Connecting Vets: 2020 veteran suicide data report delayed, VA says it’s coming later this year

“As of Oct. 20, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ annual report on veteran suicides is a month late compared to last year, and department officials so far aren’t saying when it will be released.”

“As first reported by Military Times, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-California, sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie last week, saying he was ‘dismayed’ that the report was delayed since the department usually releases it during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month each September. Takano said the department had so far not provided a release date for this year’s report, which he said was necessary for Congress to continue to work to prevent veteran suicide deaths.”

“‘Tracking the data on veteran suicide is vital to the committee’s oversight role,’ Takano wrote. ‘At a time when VA has been advocating strongly for and against specific pieces of federal legislation related to veteran suicide prevention, it is especially vital that the department share its most recent report now, to ensure that Congress has the opportunity to review VA’s current and proposed prevention efforts in the context of actual data.’”

“Connecting Vets previously asked VA about the yearly report when it was not released as expected, but did not receive a response until Oct. 20, when Press Secretary Christina Noel said in an email that the department ‘is still finalizing its annual suicide data report and will be releasing it this year. A release date has not been set yet…’” Read the full article here.

Source: 2020 veteran suicide data report delayed, VA says it’s coming later this year – By Abbie Bennett, October 20, 2020. Connecting Vets.

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