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Congressman Tim Ryan

Representing the 13th District of Ohio

Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Veterans Mental Health Legislation

March 28, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), and Steve Watkins (R-KS) to hold a press conference to unveil new legislation to support veterans mental health care. The Veterans Posttraumatic Growth Act will require the VA to pilot non-profit posttraumatic growth programs to provide an evidence-based approach to holistic mental health care. To view the full text of the bill, click here.

“20 veterans die by suicide every day. That’s a staggering number. We cannot stand by and allow this to keep happening. It’s our responsibility in Congress to provide the tools and resources to help our veterans get on the path to recovery. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Congressmen Reschenthaler and Watkins to support veterans’ mental health,” said Congressman Ryan. “Not only are we reaching across the aisle, we are teaming up with nonprofit organizations who have done extraordinary work in PTSD treatment and suicide prevention for our veterans. It’s this type of collaboration that will help heal this country. Our veterans have always had our backs, it’s time we had theirs.”

“I’m proud to work with my colleagues on combating the prevalence of PTSD and mental illness among our nation’s veterans. Through this legislation, we can ensure that lowering the high veteran suicide rate remains a top priority for our country,” said Congressman Reschenthaler.

“From 2006 to today the negative trend of veterans suicides has failed to improve. This is unacceptable. The VA needs to be innovative, responsive, and on the front lines of mental health research, not lagging decades behind. Congress has been failing our veterans; this bill is a good first step in turning the corner and starting to provide real assistance to the men and women who fought for our freedoms,” said Congressman Watkins. “It is common sense that the VA start to partner with nonprofit organizations who have proven results in helping veterans cope with PTSD. I am proud to cosponsor the Veterans Posttraumatic Growth Act and hope my brothers and sisters who have served start to receive the care they so desperately need.”

This bill will begin moving forward evidence-based treatments that are helping veterans recover from PTSD. It requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a pilot program to study the effectiveness and benefits of non-profit posttraumatic growth programs. The pilot will determine the outcomes of such programs in contrast to traditional models of mental health care, the possible integration of such non-profit programs into the mental health care programs provided by the Secretary, and the budgetary impacts of such integration.