Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Senators Continue Call for Policy Reversal On Condolence Letters

Once again President Obama has been urged to end a policy that bars him from sending a letter of condolence to family members of troops who die by suicide. This latest call came from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, and a bipartisan group of senators.

Late last year, APA told the Obama administration that the policy discriminated toward people with mental illness and urged that the longstanding policy be reversed. The Obama administration has been reviewing whether to maintain the policy since November 2009, according to the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA.

“The contributions of these men and women to their country are not less for having suffered a mental illness. A reversal of this policy to allow condolence letters to family members will not only help to honor the contributions and lives of the service men and women, but will also send a message that discriminating against those with mental illness is not acceptable,” said then APA President Carol A. Bernstein, M.D.

For more information on APA's position, see


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