WASHINGTON, May 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) testified before the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs on bills relating to mental health, education assistance, quality of care for veterans, services for female veterans, improvements to access and care, website accessibility, electronic health records modernizations, and more. WWP vice president of independence services and mental health, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Michael Richardson spoke on behalf of the veteran service organization.
"Suicide prevention is VA's top clinical priority, and similarly, Wounded Warrior Project's largest program investment is in mental and brain health," said Richardson. "No one organization – and no single agency – can fully meet veterans' needs. We believe that mental health treatment works and that we will find the best results by embracing an integrated and comprehensive public health approach focused on resilience and prevention. It will take a combination of clinical, non-clinical, and peer-to-peer community-focused efforts to start making a meaningful impact in our collective pursuits. We need to prevent veteran suicide, normalize the conversation about seeking mental health care, and help veterans not just survive, but thrive in their communities by helping them create lives worth living."
WWP identified its support for the following veteran policy bills, discussed before the committee:
WWP specifically highlighted S. 785 — Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019. Suicide prevention is among the greatest challenges WWP addresses in the community we serve. Congress plays an important role in improving access to mental health care and supporting development of a comprehensive network of education and support that can protect against isolation and veteran suicide.
WWP encourages a wide-ranging approach anchored in evidence-based treatment and research. This foundation should support private and non-profit sector partnerships that keep VA at the center of care and strengthen holistic approaches to wellness. This bill contains 35 provisions that span from transition to community grants and incorporate proposals affecting clinical care and non-clinical support. Essentially, it will:
Given the immense importance of improving access to care and preventing veteran suicide, WWP believes it is critical to move forward collectively and more effectively toward legislative solutions that unite our community's efforts.
WWP also identified its conditional support for the following bills, with recommendations and suggested revisions:
To read WWP's full testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, including more details regarding its positions on the bills discussed during the hearing, visit https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/media/183229/wwp-testimony-for-may-22-hearing-on-pending-legislation.pdf. And to learn more about how WWP works with our nation's leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families, visit https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project