AUSTIN, Texas -- Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day. That's nearly twice the rate among the civilian population.
“Seventy percent of the veterans that are part of this statistic never have contact with the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Jim Brennan, legislative director of the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations. “So the challenge is how do we reach out and identify these people that need help?”
Brennan supports President Donald Trump’s newly-signed order that creates a cabinet-level task force charged with bringing together public and private sector partners to improve quality of life for veterans.
It will also boost outreach by awarding grants to community programs and aim to better coordinate research on suicide across agencies.
“The good news about this executive order is, it's going to direct funds to state and local organizations that are more at the ground level of contact with veterans,” said Brennan.
Brennan said the state already has organizations that have been working with local groups over the past two years to improve outreach.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Brennan.