Congressman Jason Smith Votes to Improve Veterans Affairs Treatment of PTSD
WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed a bipartisan bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs response and treatment to wounded warriors with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
H.R. 5059, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, will help prevent veteran suicides which occur at twice the rate of the civilian population. It provides more access to mental health care for veterans and improves recruitment of mental health professionals to cut wait times.
“The men and women of our military have enough to worry about when they are deployed, they should never have to worry about their health care when they return,” said Congressman Jason Smith. “These men and women have often served multiple tours of duty spending years away from home. This legislation is one building block to help our returning veterans get the care they deserve.”
The bill is named in honor of Marine Cpl. Clay Hunt, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cpl. Hunt was diagnosed with PTSD and worked to increase awareness about depression. Tragically, Cpl. Hunt took his own life in 2011 at just 28 years old after delays in receiving mental health care through the VA.
This bill is part of an ongoing effort to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and improve the care our veterans receive.