April 02, 2020

Cortez Masto Introduces Legislation to Improve Mental Health Resources for Members of National Guard and Reserve

Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) recently introduced legislation to increase mental health support for members of the National Guard and Reserve. Her legislation would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on current mental health programs that serve National Guard and Reserve members and provide recommendations for improved and expanded services.

“Nevada’s dedicated National Guard members and Reservists face many unique challenges as they balance civilian jobs with their military service and are more likely to struggle with some mental health challenges than their active duty counterparts. Just like all of our men and women in uniform, they deserve robust mental health support throughout their time in service to this country. This legislation will help Congress identify and fix any gaps or loopholes that are keeping our National Guard and Reserve members from receiving the mental health services they need.”

BACKGROUND:

The Examining Mental Health Services for the National Guard and Reserves Act aims to improve mental health resources for members of the National Guard and Reserves. The legislation would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of federal, state and other mental health programs and requirements for members of the National Guard and Reserves to identify loopholes that might result in delayed or insufficient mental health care support. The study would also analyze the mental health screening requirements for deployed National Guard and Reserve members and provide recommendations for improvements.

Senator Cortez Masto has introduced numerous bills to help improve mental health resources for Nevadans. She has introduced the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act which requires the FBI to collect voluntary, anonymous data on police suicides and attempted suicides from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support (COPS) Counseling Act to encourage the adoption of law enforcement peer counseling programs and protect the privacy of federal officers who participate. She has also introduced the SERVICE Act to address the epidemic of veteran suicide by expanding access to mental health services for veterans.

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