Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, announced the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act has been officially implemented in the Indiana National Guard, according to a release from Donnelly's office.
The legislation, pushed by Donnelly, seeks to prevent military suicide by requiring all service members, including guard, reserve and active duty, to have an annual mental health assessment.
Donnelly, along with Major General Courtney Carr, who is the Adjutant General of Indiana, and Major Scott Edwards, Chief of Behavioral Sciences Officer of the Indiana National Guard, talked about the impact of the act at the Indiana National Guard headquarters in Indianapolis on Monday.
The Sexton Act is named for Jacob Sexton, a man from Indiana and a National Guardsman, who took his own life in 2009, according to the release.
Donnelly said the goal is to better identify those struggling with mental health issues before it is too late.
"Mental fitness, like physical fitness, is a critical component of military readiness," Donnelly said in the release.
Carr said the act provides a foundation to providing resources and identifying those who need help in the armed forces.
"Seeking help is a sign of strength," Carr said in the release. "And we will continue to encourage help-seeking behavior while ensuring the resources are available so that our servicemembers can continue to serve proudly and be ready when needed."
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