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Sen. Thom Tillis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to re-introduce the Prioritizing Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care Act, legislation that provides veterans greater and timelier access to mental health care treatment and incentivizes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hire more mental health care professionals to fully meet the demand.

“The fact that we lose 20 veterans every day to suicide is a national tragedy and we need to do everything in our power to assist the men and women who served our country,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation will give veterans the access they need and deserve when seeking treatment by prioritizing the need for more mental health care professionals at VA. By providing more options, we can protect our selfless veterans and give them the treatment they rightly deserve.”

Joining Senators Tillis and Ernst as co-sponsors are Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

About the Prioritizing Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care Act:
Amends the Veterans’ Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to allow a veteran instant authorization of non-VA care if the veteran provides an electronic or hard-copy statement in writing that they are not receiving adequate or timely mental health care at the VA.
Eliminates the 40-mile and VA wait-time triggers for mental health care only under the Choice Act.
Prioritizes incentives for the hiring of mental health care professionals at VA.
Uses Choice Act funds to pay for the bill.
Provides the VA 90 days to enact the program.

Additionally, September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month.

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