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The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America's Veterans Act was signed into law this week, calling for evaluations of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ suicide prevention and mental health programs and better support for veterans who need it. The bill was named for a Marine who took his own life in 2011 after battling depression and post-traumatic stress following deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a tragic reminder of the challenges post-9/11 veterans are facing when they return home.
The Military Service Initiative at the Bush Institute works to support these servicemen and women and their families. Reducing the stigma of PTS and helping post-9/11 veterans get the services they need is part of the effort. Next week, the Bush Center will host the Military Service Initiative’s second national summit, this time to explore how non-profit and philanthropic organizations can better serve post-9/11 veterans and military families. Veteran-serving non-profit organizations and their funders play a crucial role in ensuring our servicemembers have the support they need as they transition to civilian life.
The vice president of education policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes this week in The Hill on the merits of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the need to reauthorize the law for the sake of all students. “Education matters to the future of our country. Whether we are talking about greater equality, social mobility or the economic competitiveness of our nation, education holds the key to all of these. And to truly be the land of opportunity, we must deliver on our national commitment to the success of every child,” says Cheryl Oldham.
North America is a focus of the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth initiative, which is why this New America Foundation piece on a North American Passport caught our eye. We may be a long way from such a passport, but the fact is the United States, Mexico, and Canada should be thinking more about ways to integrate their economies. The North American Free Trade Agreement, now more than 20 years old, includes provisions for labor mobility in some 60 professional categories. The more the economies of these three nations can work in tandem, while respecting the sovereignty of each nation, the more they can grow and benefit the residents of each country.
Brittney Bain serves as the Director of Communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Prior to joining the Bush Center, she worked on Capitol Hill where she served most recently as deputy press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Bain interned in the White House Office of Communications during the George W. Bush Administration.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.Full Bio
Mental Health Awareness Month
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and reduce stigma, particularly for veterans and the invisible wounds of war. Members from the Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance offered their perspectives throughout the month to discuss what they wish more civilians understood about veteran mental health, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. They also discussed how everyone can help get more warriors the care they need. Check out their videos below.
How a Community in New Orleans is Helping Veterans Transition
Dylan Tête, Executive Director and Founder, Bastion Community of Resilience will receive the George W. Bush Institute Military Service Citation at the Bush Center's Forum on Leadership.
Creating a Global Veteran Community
Deputy Director of Military Service Initiative Kacie Kelly recently spoke at an international veterans’ mental health conference: “Evidence, Innovation, and Practice” hosted by Kings College London and the Forces in Mind Trust Foundation.