You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Marine death is 1st in campaign against IS
     WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has announced the first death of a U.S. military member involved in the campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.  Lance Cpl. Sean P.
  • Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island
    HONOLULU – A growing lava stream threatening homes and inching closer to a rural road on Hawaii’s Big Island oozed forward in fits and starts this week, frustrating some residents but giving officials a window of time to
  • 21-day Ebola quarantine ordered in NY, NJ
    Alarmed by the case of an Ebola-infected New York doctor, the governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine of all medical workers and other arriving airline passengers who have had contact with
Advertisement

Donnelly bill would require yearly mental health screenings for military

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., has introduced a far more extensive version of his 2013 legislation aimed at preventing military suicides.

“What we’ve done is try to strengthen it, make it even better,” Donnelly said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.

The Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act would require yearly in-person mental health screenings for all members of the military – Reserve and National Guard units as well as active-duty personnel.

The bill also would establish a working group from the Defense and the Health and Human Services departments to recommend ways to improve mental health services for Reserve and Guard members.

“There is no one solution, there’s no cure-all to prevent military suicide, but this problem is not too big to solve,” Donnelly said.

He said the military reported 522 suicides in 2012 and 470 last year.

The Indiana National Guard operates an air base and an infantry regiment in Fort Wayne. Lt. Col. Cathy Van Bree, public affairs officer for the Indiana Guard, said the Guard does not provide suicide statistics for cities or sites, but she said 19 members of the Indiana National Guard have taken their own lives since 2010.

Donnelly’s bill is named for a Guardsman from Farmland, in Randolph County, who fatally shot himself inside a Muncie movie theater in 2009. Jacob Sexton was a member of a Hammond-based infantry regiment and was on leave from Afghanistan when he killed himself.

Advertisement