Sending Office: Morelle, Joseph D.
Cosponsor H.R. 2184, the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act
Cosponsors: TJ Cox, Ed Case, Bonnie Watson Coleman
Our nation is facing a crisis. Each day, 20 veterans take their own life. It is our responsibility to reach out to every veteran in crisis and offer a message of hope and the care they need to lead healthy and happy lives.
Despite this national crisis, the Veterans Affairs (VA) spent only $1.5 million of its $6.2 million budget for suicide prevention media outreach in FY 2018. The Government Accountability Office (GOA) found that the VA had failed to establish targets to evaluate
the efficacy of its suicide prevention campaign and that leadership turnover had led to a dramatic decline in media outreach activities.
While claiming suicide prevention as its “highest clinical priority”, the VA utterly failed to use effective media to inform veterans about the 24/7 veterans crisis hotline and other life-saving resources. For an entire year, the VA did not air a single
television or radio PSA on suicide prevention and social media posts dropped significantly.
Congress has already allocated resources to address the veteran’s suicide crisis. We must now take action to ensure these resources are being used effectively to save lives.
I invite you to join me as a cosponsor of the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act to improve the operation, oversight, and evaluation of the VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns.
H.R. 2184 requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to:
- Establish targets—based on industry-standard metrics such as impressions and engagement rate—to evaluate the efficacy of its mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns
- Create a process to oversee VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns
- Submit a report on expenditures and obligations of funds of Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees and Appropriations Committees.
- Ensure all future contracts regarding mental health and suicide prevention outreach include a clause that the contractor must track metrics established by the Secretary and report these metrics to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
It is time to ensure that the VA’s leadership prioritizes effective and targeted outreach to vulnerable veterans and their families.
To sign on as a cosponsor, or for additional information, please contact Maria Oparil at
Joseph D. Morelle
Member of Congress
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