A conversation with:
Sen. Joe Donnelly
US Senator (D-IN)
President and CEO, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Board Director, Atlantic Council
Former Deputy Undersecretary, Department of Defense
Senior Staff Writer, Military Times
Last year, Donnelly's bipartisan Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act was signed into law as part of the national defense bill, for the first time requiring an annual mental health assessment for all servicemembers – Active, Reserve, and Guard. Building on that effort, Donnelly introduced the "Servicemember and Veteran Mental Health Care Package" earlier this year to improve mental health care for servicemembers and their families. Provisions from his bipartisan "Care Package" passed Congress as part of the defense bill and were recently signed into law. Last year, 443 servicemembers took their own lives, and for the third straight year, more were lost to suicide than in combat. In the first six months of 2015, according to the latest Department of Defense report, over 200 servicemembers were lost to suicide.
Donnelly previously represented Indiana's 2nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives and was first elected in 2006. After being reelected to the House in 2008 and 2010, he was elected to the Senate in 2012. He serves on the Armed Services Committee, Banking Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Aging Committee. In the Armed Services Committee, he is the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee and on the Airland and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittees.
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