Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is overseeing the implementation and execution of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program he championed to prevent and reduce veteran suicides.

Boozman authored the Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program, which was included in comprehensive veterans mental health legislation that was signed into law in 2020. The VA grant program leverages and supports veteran-serving nonprofits and other community networks in order to reduce and prevent veteran suicides. The first grants were awarded in September 2022. 

“We all know that suicide is really complex. It’s a complicated crisis. There is no single solution. We also know that if people are in the VA system, they’re less likely to commit suicide,” Boozman said in the committee hearing Wednesday. “One of the things that we’ve worked on is to make it such to capture those folks that are outside of the system, get them some help in the community and then ultimately bring them into the VA where they can get additional help.”

VA officials recommended updating the way grantees ask questions to veterans so that they may have the most flexibility possible to serve those who come to their organizations for help.

Boozman’s commitment to addressing the veteran suicide crisis has continued this Congress with the introduction of the Not Just A Number Act, legislation to ensure the VA is looking at a range of factors to help save the lives of veterans experiencing mental health challenges and make better data-driven policy decisions which can translate into real-world success preventing suicide.