WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement today after a report from the Government Accountability Office revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has left millions of dollars budgeted for veteran suicide prevention unspent. The report shows that as of September, the VA had spent less than 1 percent of its $6.2 million budget for suicide prevention outreach. The VA has estimated that an average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day.
“What this new report reveals is utterly shameful, and our brave veterans who have sacrificed to defend our freedoms deserve so much better. Roughly 20 veterans die by suicide every day, yet the Trump Administration has left millions of dollars untouched that were budgeted for vital outreach efforts to prevent veteran suicide. Addressing the epidemic of veteran suicide should be a top priority for the VA, and I will keep pushing the President and his Administration to treat this crisis with the urgency it requires.”