INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, teamed with Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker to introduce an updated bill this week that is aimed at preventing military suicides.
The bill is named after Farmland, Indiana National Guardsman Jacob Sexton, who killed himself while on leave from Afghanistan in 2009.
The Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act of 2014 is aimed at better identifying servicemembers with mental health issues and getting them help. The bill would require assessments of all servicemembers, improvements in mental health services, better reporting, and privacy protection for servicemembers seeking treatment.
More than 470 servicemembers committed suicide in 2013. Military leaders report an unprecedented spike in suicides this year.