Gallagher’s Statement on New VA Suicide Data
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) report on the veteran suicide rate in Wisconsin. According to the report, there were 133 veteran suicide deaths in Wisconsin in 2014—representing 18% of the total number of suicides in Wisconsin for the same year.
Rep. Gallagher said, “The VA’s troubling findings underscore the urgent need to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care so that veterans in crisis feel comfortable seeking treatment.” Rep. Gallagher continued, “Many of the brave men and women with whom I served in Iraq suffer from the invisible wounds of war that too often lead to suicide. Whether it’s tackling PTSD and other mental health issues, or simply sitting down with a veteran to hear his concerns, I will continue to be a strong voice for veterans across Northeast Wisconsin so that they can get the help they need before it’s too late.”
As a part of his pro-veterans agenda, Rep. Gallagher has supported:
- The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to expand healthcare for Vietnam vets suffering from the harmful effects of Agent Orange.
- The PAWS Act to establish a pilot program that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD.
- The Hire Vets Act and BRAVE Act which recognize and reward entities that prioritize the hiring of our nation’s veterans.
In addition to advancing legislation, Rep. Gallagher has participated in multiple roundtable discussions with veterans in the 8th District to talk about the critical problems they face. Most recently, Rep. Gallagher joined First Lady Tonette Walker’s effort to push for wider use of trauma informed care. He introduced a bipartisan resolution in the House that recognizes its importance and effectiveness in treating those who have suffered from extreme trauma.