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Jessica LoVerso

Policy Intern, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Senate Bill Would Increase Veterans’ Access to Addiction and Mental Health Services

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Earlier this month, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Restoring Veterans’ Trust Act of 2014 (S. 2413) in the Senate. This bill includes a new project, the Community Mental Health Partnership Pilot Program, which would connect medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs with surrounding community mental health and substance use treatment providers to increase access to services, improve health outcomes, and ensure veterans receive behavioral healthcare that meets the minimum clinical mental health guidelines endorsed by the Veterans Health Administration.

The Restoring Veterans’ Trust Act is likely headed to conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill; some changes may occur before it goes to the President’s desk for signature.