Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly has introduced his first bill on the senate floor and if passed, this bill would help curb military suicides by diagnosing PTSD.
The bill would provide a mental health screening along with the military's annual physical exam, already done each year. Donnelly tells 14 News that getting these men and women the help they need is his top priority.
On leave from deployment in Afghanistan, army specialist Jacob Sexton took his own life in 2009.
The farmland, Indiana native's death spurred questions about military men and women and their challenges here at home. In his first bill, Indiana U.S. Senator Donnelly introduced the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act.
"My hope is that we can help people like Jacob who are struggling with mental health issues," says Sen. Donnelly.
Providing annual, private, online mental health assessments, the Department of Defense says more than 30,000 veterans and military members have committed suicide since 2009. Shawn Gourley of local support group 'Military with PTSD,' says Donnelly's bill is a start, but needs more to be done.
The online assessments would be evaluated by mental health professionals and compared to evaluations done by military superiors.
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