Legislation to establish ‘Veterans Suicide Awareness Week’ filed

Ponca City Now - January 21, 2020 2:37 pm

State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants

OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants (D-Norman) filed legislation for consideration during the 2020 Legislative Session designed to bring awareness to veteran suicide.

House Bill 2891 would establish “Veterans Suicide Awareness Week” in Oklahoma, which would take place the second week of every October. The legislation was prompted by one of Rosecrants’ constituents whose son died by suicide. Damien Eckstein was a US Army veteran of the Iraq War who died Oct. 14, 2013.

“These men and women were willing to go to some pretty dark places in the world in service to this country. Now, when they are home, they need our help,” Rosecrants said. “As a lawmaker, I feel like its part of my duty to provide support to these individuals anyway I can.”

According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report — published by the  US Department of Veteran Affairs — the most recent data suggests that veterans are 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than men and women who haven’t served. In 2017, 85 Oklahoma veterans died by suicide.

“This legislation is about bringing awareness to this problem and hopefully building some momentum to solve it,” Rosecrants said.

Rosecrants encourages anyone with comments or suggestions on this legislation to call (405) 557-7329 or email [email protected].

 

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