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house Bill H.R. 2915

Preventing Female Veteran Suicide With Better VA Mental Health Care

Argument in favor

The VA needs to do all that it can to provide mental health and suicide prevention services to vulnerable groups of veterans — particularly women and those who were involved in classified activities.

Alis's Opinion
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01/26/2016
Yes BUT...health care should be available for ALL veterans. Why is a separate bill necessary unless, in your austerity wisdom, you have chosen to eliminate female veterans from benefits? Should that be the case, FIX IT NOW. If not, scrap this bill and be certain that every veteran has the needed mental health care!!! And all other benefits needed for their return to productive citizenry. That this feckless congress has short changed veterans consistently is a crime against the entire country.
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G's Opinion
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01/26/2016
Why not just have one bill that addresses both genders?
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Robert's Opinion
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01/26/2016
The VA should enhance all counseling services to all military personnel.
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Argument opposed

By focusing on female veterans and those who participated in classified activities, this bill neglects other veterans and the mental health care and suicide prevention programs that serve them.

operaman's Opinion
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01/26/2016
So do we want a Title IX for Female Veteran? Silly idea. Let's go with equal.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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01/26/2016
Male suicide rates are much higher than females, and yet we only focus on the women. How about we expand benefits to everyone for once?
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SouthernGal's Opinion
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01/27/2016
This bill should be for all vets. Get off your butts, congress and fix the entire VA.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2915?

Aiming to better address female veteran suicide, this bill would require metrics for suicides among women vets to be included in annual assessments of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

A review and report on the VA's mental health care would be conducted by a nongovernment entity. The bill also would require the VA to outline standards for treating veterans who have served on classified missions.

The VA would also have to:

  • Establish policies to ensure that all covered veterans have access to VA mental health care that accommodates a veteran’s responsibility to withhold classified information;

  • Offer guidance to VA employees and mental health professionals, regarding these standards and procedures.

This bill defines “covered veterans" as anyone who:

  • Is enrolled in the VA health care system;

  • Is seeking mental health treatment after military service;

  • Participated in a sensitive (classified) mission or served in a unit primarily involved in training for or conducting special activities or classified missions.

Impact

Female veterans and veterans who participated in classified activities, their families and communities, the Veterans Health Administration, and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2915

$500.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

Of Note: Research by the VA using 11 years of data found that women veterans are six times more likely to commit suicide than other women. The suicide rate among civilian women was found to be 5.4 per 100,000 people — compared to 34.6 per 100,000 for women veterans.


In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced this bill to make the VA’s mental health services more immediately available to vulnerable groups of veterans:

“Since coming to Congress, I have been working diligently to break down barriers preventing our veterans from receiving the care they need. My bill will ensure that the VA and Congress understand the unique mental health needs of female veterans.”

The House Veterans Affairs Committee passed this bill by voice vote, and the legislation currently enjoys the support of 21 cosponsors in the House — 15 Democrats and six Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Expert Infantry)

AKA

Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to identify mental health care and suicide prevention programs and metrics that are effective in treating women veterans as part of the evaluation of such programs by the Secretary, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed February 9th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Health
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJune 25th, 2015

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    Yes BUT...health care should be available for ALL veterans. Why is a separate bill necessary unless, in your austerity wisdom, you have chosen to eliminate female veterans from benefits? Should that be the case, FIX IT NOW. If not, scrap this bill and be certain that every veteran has the needed mental health care!!! And all other benefits needed for their return to productive citizenry. That this feckless congress has short changed veterans consistently is a crime against the entire country.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    So do we want a Title IX for Female Veteran? Silly idea. Let's go with equal.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Why not just have one bill that addresses both genders?
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    The VA should enhance all counseling services to all military personnel.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Male suicide rates are much higher than females, and yet we only focus on the women. How about we expand benefits to everyone for once?
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill should be for all vets. Get off your butts, congress and fix the entire VA.
    Like (8)
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    Health care should include all veterans
    Like (5)
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    Anything that improves access to mental healthcare for veterans is a good thing. These groups have been identified as the ones most in need of that immediate care, so I see the point. Even better would be a bill enduring immediate category all veterans, but I would never vote out a bill because it doesn't go far enough! Any progress is still progress.
    Like (4)
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    More legislation is not what's needed. V.A. Need to be held accountable for all of their failings to our vets.
    Like (3)
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    This bill is a distraction from the systemic problem: The VA needs a complete overhaul. President Obama didn't start the problem but he certainly neglected it for the eight year as Commander-in-chief.
    Like (2)
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    As a veteran we need better care over all.
    Like (2)
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    I'm for anything that will improve the lives and future of veterans. However, we shouldn't only focus on female veterans in this case, but we should focus on ALL veterans and improve all vets VA health care.
    Like (2)
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    If it included ALL veterans then I'd be for it.
    Like (2)
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    This bill needs to be improved on to include all veterans; Male, female, of all races. If you are or were in the military you should be given the best care no matter how much it raises taxes
    Like (2)
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    I say yes to this, but another bill should be included to do the same for all veterans, not just women. That does not mean I wouldn't support the good things in THIS bill, but more should be done.
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    The scope of this bill is too narrow and needs to include all vets.
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    Definitely and better health care for all veterans across the board.
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    It should not matter what gender you are. If you served you have earned all the benefits available to you. Period! This bill should be a no brainier. Even though this is an all volunteer military, our veterans are serving way to many tours.
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    We need better mental health care for all the veterans female or male
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    Absolutely! Just one less vay-cay by the royal family would easily cover this.
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