Underwood Legislation to Address Veteran Suicide Crisis Passes House

May 21, 2019
Press Release
Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act would ensure veterans receive high-quality mental health and suicide prevention services

WASHINGTON—Ahead of Memorial Day, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) bipartisan legislation to ensure high-quality mental health and suicide prevention care for veterans has passed the U.S House of Representatives unanimously. The Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act would ensure both the VA and outside providers are offering veterans high-quality mental health and suicide prevention services. The passage comes just four days after Underwood’s legislation on another major priority, protecting people with preexisting conditions, also passed the House.  

“I’m humbled by the unanimous and bipartisan support of my legislation to address veteran suicide, but our work has just begun. We have an urgent responsibility to continue to fight for the highest standards of care on behalf of veterans. I will not quit until all veterans receive the care that they have earned through their sacrifice and service to our nation,” said Underwood.

Video of Underwood speaking about the legislation on the House floor can be found here

More than 7,300 veterans, servicemembers, reservists, and members of the National Guard die by suicide each year—around 20 per day. Underwood’s legislation would direct the Government Accountability Office to assess the effectiveness of memoranda of understanding and agreement that the VA has entered into with entities providing mental health and suicide prevention services, to ensure that they are providing high-quality care. The bill ensures the review provides information specifically on the veterans being served who are women, minorities, and seniors, as well as veterans’ families.

Underwood is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and is on the Servicewomen & Women Veterans Congressional Caucus and on the Women Veterans Task Force.