March 18, 2019

Manchin Introduces Landmark Veterans Mental Health And Suicide Prevention Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced a landmark, bipartisan bill to improve Veterans' access to mental health care and make sure no Veteran’s life is lost to suicide. 

“Our Veterans deserve the very best access to mental health care, which is why I am honored to introduce this legislation that helps our bravest citizens. As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, I have spent my career fighting to make sure Veterans can get the care they have earned and deserve. In West Virginia, we believe in taking care of those who serve us, and that includes making sure their mental health care is one of our top priorities. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation,” said Senator Manchin.

It is estimated that more than 20 veterans die by suicide every day. Of those, 14 have received no treatment or care from the VA. The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act will improve outreach to veterans and their mental health care options. The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act is a comprehensive and aggressive approach to connect more veterans with the mental health care they need and earned. This bill seeks to improve VA care by bolstering the VA's mental health workforce and increasing rural or hard-to-reach Veterans' access to VA care. Additionally, this bill supports President Trump’s recent executive order on Veteran suicide by funding alternative treatments from community-based organizations.

The bill is endorsed by a growing number of Veterans and mental health advocates, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), American Veterans (AMVETS), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Volunteers of America (VOA), American Psychological Association (APA), and American Association of Suicidology.