A special legislative panel recently rejected calls to legalize the use of psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin mushrooms, to address a suicide crisis among military veterans in Missouri. Instead, in a report, the House Interim Committee on Veterans Mental Health and Suicide recommended that the state spend at least $27 million on the operation of the newly unveiled 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline. The panel also recommended that the Missouri Department of Mental Health create a prominent link on the agency’s website to a portal to provide information for veterans on mental health and suicide prevention.
The legislative committee was formed to address Missouri leading the nation in veteran suicides. In 2021, 146 Missouri veterans died by suicide. Only seven states had a higher rate of veteran suicide than Missouri in 2019. Overall, suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in Missouri.