Obama to sign military vets suicide prevention bill

Bill, to be made law Thursday, named after marine with PTSD

In this March 27, 2014 file photo, with the Capitol in the background, Army veteran David Dickerson of Oklahoma City, Okla., joins others to place 1,892 flags representing veteran and service members who have died by suicide to date in 2014, on the National Mall in Washington. The Senate is expected to take up a bill Monday named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
In this March 27, 2014 file photo, with the Capitol in the background, Army veteran David Dickerson of Oklahoma City, Okla., joins others to place 1,892 flags representing veteran and service members who have died by suicide to date in 2014, on the National Mall in Washington. The Senate is expected to take up a bill Monday named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is joining with lawmakers and government leaders to cast a spotlight on the issue of suicide among veterans.

Obama on Thursday will sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act into law. First lady Michelle Obama, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald and veterans are expected to attend the White House ceremony.

The measure is named for a Marine who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hunt killed himself in 2011 in Texas.

The bill creates a pilot program to help veterans transition out of active duty, and it creates a website to provide veterans with information about available mental health services.

The bill also requires the VA’s suicide prevention programs to be evaluated annually by a third party.

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