A Central Jersey Congressman has secured an additional 20 million dollars for Department of Defense suicide prevention and outreach programs.

Congressman Rush Holt’s measure is included in the fiscal year 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

He says “the Department needs to do far more to help end this suicide epidemic among our active duty, Guard and Reserve force…one of the key mistakes in our government’s approach to dealing with the suicide epidemic among service members and veterans is the assumption that only programs within the DOD and VA are capable of overcoming this crisis. Our experience in New Jersey strongly suggests otherwise.”

The new funds are a continuation of 40 million in funding that Holt worked to secure for the current fiscal year. Earlier this year, Holt also secured $20 million for suicide prevention in the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill.

The measure that includes Holt’s funding will be approved by the House later this evening.  It must then pass the Senate and be signed by the President to become law.

Holt spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today to thank the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations for supporting the legislation.