From the office of Congressman Anthony Brindisi:
Congressman’s Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Suicide Prevention Coordinators and Improve Women Veterans Call Center Signed by President
20 Veterans and Servicemembers Die by Suicide Every Day; Brindisi Bills Take Action to Increase Mental Health Resources
Brindisi’s 5th and 6th Bills to be Signed by President Trump
President Trump signed two bipartisan bills from Congressman Anthony Brindisi into law as part of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019. This comprehensive reform package previously passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“Our Veterans sacrificed so much for our country, and I will always fight to ensure they receive the care and benefits they earned. That includes mental health care,” said Brindisi. “This bipartisan package of reforms will expand access to mental health resources and help address the suicide crisis among our nation’s Veterans. I am honored that two of my bills were included and I’m glad to see President Trump sign them into law today.”
The package includes Brindisi’s Access to Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, which requires the VA to staff every VA Medical Facility with at least one Suicide Prevention Coordinator. This bill follows Brindisi’s Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, which President Trump signed into law on December 20, 2019.
Suicide Prevention Coordinators identify high-risk Veterans and ensure they receive appropriate care, conduct outreach, and promote awareness and suicide prevention best practices within VA, among other responsibilities. Twenty Veterans, servicemembers, reservists, and members of the National Guard die by suicide every day.
“Just one Veteran lost to suicide is one too many,” said Brindisi. “Our nation’s heroes deserve the very best care, and this bill will help ensure every Veteran has a place to turn for help. We cannot rest until the number of Veterans lost to suicide reaches zero.”
Also included in the reform package is a bill from Brindisi requiring the VA to expand the capabilities of the Women Veterans Call Center by including a text messaging option for Veterans seeking assistance. Brindisi is a member of the bipartisan Women Veterans Taskforce in the House. The bill also directs the VA to improve outreach to women Veterans by publishing a website providing information about the benefits and services available to them.
These are Brindisi’s fifth and sixth bills signed into law, five of which have supported our nation’s Veterans and servicemembers. Last year, President Trump signed Brindisi’s Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 and Brindisi’s Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act. Brindisi’s Support Procurement of our Nation’s Stainless Steel (SPOONSS) Act was signed into law as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.