CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — State Representative Todd Hunter announced that some legislation he has been fighting for to help prevent suicides in Texas has now made it to the governor's desk.
Hunter organized a special task force to find ways to fight suicide among the most at-risk groups in the state. HCR 137 and House Bill 3980 would accomplish two goals of the committee.
One goal is to make September Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month coincide with the national month-long observance. The other is to require the state to track suicide rates and determine state efforts to prevent suicides.
Scott Eliff is co-chair of Hunter's committee on suicide prevention. He said Texas suicide rates are up and veterans and teens are the most at risk.
"Veterans have about twice the suicide rate of the general population and a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control says that the rate of attempted suicide among Texas teenagers is almost double that of the national average," Eliff said.
"Two good bills came from the Coastal Bend, came from the task force," Hunter said. "It shows the system works. And I want to thank everyone from the local community because with their input we got things done."
The task force also determined that suicide rates among female veterans is up over male veterans.
The group would like to see more mental health services be made available, especially to the at-risk groups.