New program would raise awareness for healthcare resources and programs
available to veterans and service members
Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 298, which would establish the Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Program.
This new program would aim to reduce suicide deaths among New Mexico’s service members and veterans by raising awareness of the issue and improving access to suicide prevention, behavioral health, and mental health resources.
“New Mexico tragically has one of the highest veteran suicide rates in the nation and I am grateful to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services for helping our state take action to save lives,” said lead sponsor Representative Eliseo Alcon (D-Milan), a Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star recipient. “Our veterans have made great personal sacrifices to protect our freedoms and safety as Americans. We owe it to them to have their backs when they go through difficult times.”
The Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Program would promote evidence-based best practices to increase awareness among our veterans population about the root causes of suicide and improve the resources available to help them.
HB 298 is also sponsored by Rep. Harry Garcia (D-Grants), a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, as well asReps. Tara Jaramillo (D-Socorro) and Alan Martinez (R-Bernalillo). It now heads to the Senate.
The Roundhouse is open to the public for the 2024 session. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico Legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.