State Representative Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) applauded the passage of a bill he sponsored that brings attention to the high number of veterans who take steps to end their own life following military service.  

House Bill 202 would designate the first Saturday of May as “Veterans Suicide Awareness Day.” Rep. Thompson initiated the legislation after speaking to a constituent of the 95th House District, Jason Rutledge, who served in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and who has made it his mission to raise awareness about the issue of veteran suicide.

“There is an urgent need for awareness, and to reach a consensus on how to address the issue. House Bill 202 is a first important step on that path,” Rep. Thompson said.

In committee testimony, Rep. Thompson highlighted some of the statistics associated with this issue. When returning home from serving overseas, veterans are faced with many challenges in order to be acclimated back into civilian life, and sometimes a veteran is silently dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and thoughts of suicide.

In an effort to bring attention to some services available to Ohio veterans, Rep. Thompson pointed to various resources, including the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, which provides information on crisis counseling and suicide prevention through their Veterans Crisis Line.

House Bill 202 will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. 

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