Are prescription medications, treatment at VA or lack of treatment, linked to veteran deaths by suicide?
A bill first championed by the late Sen. John McCain, revived this Congress, aims to find out by gathering data to improve understanding of veteran deaths by suicide, especially as it relates to opioid prescription and use.
About 20 veterans die by suicide daily, according to VA data, and many of them are not actively receiving care at VA. A few of those 20 per day are not eligible for VA care, officials say.
The study would examine all veteran deaths by suicide in the past five years, including: the total number of veterans who died by suicide, the number who died "a violent death," the number of veterans who died accidental deaths and more.
Veterans are also three times more likely to die by suicide if there is a gun in their home, Wilkie said.
A recent report on 2018 active-duty deaths by suicide showed the highest recorded number of troop deaths by suicide ever.
Two Senators are working to introduce legislation to encourage and help states fund red-flag laws, which create a judicial due process to remove guns from people -- including veterans -- determined to be a danger to themselves and others.