In his State of the Union speech, President Biden pleaded for increased funding for federal help programs as part of a larger effort to prevent veteran suicides.
The president also called for additional financial aid for veterans to help them pay their rent and for job training and placement for soldiers and their wives as they transition back into civilian life in Biden’s speech, his first before a divided Congress.
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Let’s do more to uphold this country’s one absolutely sacrosanct duty: providing for the needs of returning service members and their families. Biden said.
According to the president, 17 veterans leave the country every day “to the silent epidemic of suicide.”
In order to help other veterans understand what they’re going through and get the support they require, the Department of Veterans Affairs is “doing all it can,” according to Biden, including expanding mental health screenings and successful programs that attract veterans.
Because “no one should be homeless in America, especially someone who served the country,” he also promised to assist veterans with paying their rent.
Christen Linke Young, the deputy assistant to the president for health and veterans affairs, told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the administration will give states and territories new funding for initiatives aimed at preventing veteran suicide through mental health and emergency support services.
In addition to strengthening peer support services, officials will concentrate on helping veterans “during difficult times that might raise the risk of suicide by extending medical-legal partnerships and expanding outreach to justice-involved veterans.”
Additionally, according to Young, Biden is pressuring Congress with a fiscal 2024 budget that would include a proposal for an undisclosed housing assistance effort.
33,000 American veterans are reportedly without stable housing. From 2020 until the beginning of 2022, that number fell by more than 11%, despite efforts by government officials to reduce it to zero.
The new programs expand on Biden’s efforts from the previous year to establish extensive new compensation for veterans who were exposed to harmful substances while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, legislation was approved this summer as a result of that work, providing millions of veterans with these benefits.
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