Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in urging Secretary Wilkie of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve veterans’ access to mental health care by following through on authorities under President Donald Trump’s Executive Order (EO) 13822 to increase veterans’ access to mental health care.
“More than 6,000 veterans die by suicide annually, and each loss of life is immeasurable,” wrote the senators. “Congress has done its part by providing consistent and robust resources for VA’s mental health budget and developing and passing comprehensive veterans’ mental health care legislation, most recently the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. Hopefully the issuance of EO 13822 was more than a hollow press opportunity by the Administration, and we can expect it to do right by our nation’s military and veterans by fully implementing the EO and all laws passed by Congress focused on mental health and suicide prevention.”
Following last week’s historic signing of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, which Senator Cortez Masto cosponsored, the Senator is now pushing for the VA to increase veterans’ access to mental health care, and implement critical provisions and new authorities under the law to provide more veterans with mental health resources.
Senator Cortez Masto has a strong record of supporting veterans. She was a cosponsor of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, introduced the Know Your Vets Act of 2020 to connect military members separating from service with housing, health care, and job training opportunities, and the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act to create an intergovernmental task force to identify opportunities to expand access and usage of public lands for outdoor therapy and rehabilitation treatments. In addition, the Senator worked with the VA to ensure that Elko County finally received authorization from the federal government to build a veterans cemetery in the local community.
A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.