Washington, D.C. – More than 6,000 veterans die by suicide each year, taking their own lives at a rate one-and-a-half times that of other Americans. Female veterans are at an even higher risk, with a suicide rate of more than twice that of other Americans.
From 2005 to 2016, the veteran suicide rate rose by an alarming 26 percent. In the past, these heroes were too often overlooked by our leaders, who sent our troops to fight in foreign lands without taking care of them once they returned home.
Watch: Wounded Warrior Chad Hiser’s incredible story
Under President Donald Trump, our veterans have been championed since day one. In 2018, he signed the largest funding bill for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in history, securing $86.5 billion. He also restored much-needed accountability and discipline to the VA system.
“We’ve removed more than 9,000 VA workers who were not giving our veterans the care, respect, attention that they’ve earned,” President Trump said.
Today, the VA took another major step forward, unveiling the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide, also known as “PREVENTS.” The 10-point roadmap includes a major public health campaign on veteran suicide prevention.
Second Lady Karen Pence: Time to end the “stigma of mental health”
The roadmap will implement changes in how veteran suicide is researched as well, allowing providers to better understand the unique risk profile of every patient. The roadmap will also pursue partnerships that strengthen community-based, nonprofit, and faith-based interventions.
Veteran suicide is a national tragedy, and improving the quality of care for our nation’s heroes is one of President Trump’s top priorities. After years of scandal and neglect from past administrations, this President has reorganized the VA around the principle that our veterans deserve the best treatment available on Earth.
Watch President Trump announce roadmap to address veteran suicide
Secretary Perdue, Ivanka Trump help deliver food boxes
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Ivanka Trump, and other Administration officials met with minority faith leaders in Pittsburgh yesterday, where they held a listening session before participating in a food box distribution for families in need.
“I was grateful to listen and learn from faith & community leaders how together we can bring about healing and holistic revitalization to underserved communities across the nation,” Ms. Trump tweeted.
The Farmers to Families Food Box program has delivered nearly 20 million boxes to date. All told, as part of the Administration’s ongoing Coronavirus relief efforts, the program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in dairy products, $258 million in meats, and $175 million in combination boxes to support both American farmers and underserved families.