Dem senator: More work needed to end 'scourge of military suicide'
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Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party Senate approves funding bill, preventing partial government shutdown MORE (D-Ind.) says more needs to be done to prevent military suicides, following a report that showed a rise in the number of active-duty troops taking their own lives.

“This Pentagon report is a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to end the scourge of military suicide,” the senator said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Our service members sacrifice to protect us, and we must work nonstop to support them.”

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There were 268 confirmed suicides among active-duty military personnel in 2014, up from 254 in 2013, according to a Defense Department report released Tuesday. While the number of suicides among active-duty troops increased between 2013 and 2014, last year’s totals are less than the 320 active duty suicides confirmed in 2012.

The number of confirmed suicides among reserve service members dropped to 166 last year from 220 in 2013. The 166 total includes 79 confirmed suicides among reservists and 87 among the National Guard.

Donnelly said that he will “continue to work on legislation” to bolster active military and veterans' access to mental healthcare.

“While suicide is a complex issue with no simple solutions, I believe it is a challenge we can — and must — address,” he said. “We made progress last year, and I will continue to work on legislation that seeks to improve service member and veteran mental health.”

Donnelly introduced three bills last month aimed at improving mental healthcare by making sure the Defense Department, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), have enough mental health workers and that they are adequately trained.

Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Dems offer measure to raise minimum wage to per hour Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE (D-Mont.) have also recently introduced legislation aimed at improving veterans’ access to mental healthcare.