WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted to pass the bipartisan STRONG Veterans Act to prevent veteran suicide and strengthen efforts to improve veterans’ mental health and wellbeing. This legislation increases outreach, mental health care, suicide prevention, provider training and research from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Each day, we lose 17 veterans to suicide. We cannot allow this cycle to continue in our nation,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Today, we passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen mental health services at the VA to prevent our heroes from falling through the cracks. By expanding effective VA programs, increasing outreach and advancing research, we can save lives.”
The STRONG Veterans Act addresses gaps across the spectrum of prevention and care, by expanding mental health outreach to traditionally underserved veterans, developing and delivering the most effective treatments, better equipping VA’s workforce to provide care and further strengthening VA’s crisis response system.
Endorsements for the STRONG Veterans Act provisions come from a broad range of organizations focused on veterans, mental health, suicide prevention and research. Supporting organizations include the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The American Legion, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Disabled American Veterans, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Fleet Reserve Association, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Military Women’s Coalition, Minority Veterans of America, The Mission Continues, National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Montana, National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, National Association for Rural Mental Health, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Student Veterans of America, Team Rubicon, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute, Vietnam Veterans of America, Well Being Trust and the Wounded Warrior Project.