Veterans mental-health care bill gains new Senate co-sponsor

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently said he has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Prioritizing Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care Act.

The legislation, which was introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), includes language that gives veterans priority access to mental health care by providing incentives for VA facilities to hire more mental health care professionals and also by granting veterans immediate authorization for non-VA care if they provide documentation showing the failure of the VA to provide for them adequately.

“North Carolina is home to nearly 800,000 veterans, and that population is growing every day,” Tillis said. “Unfortunately, we have not even begun to get a handle on the mental health needs of the many brave men and women who have served our nation.”

Joining Tillis as co-sponsors on the bill are Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

“This legislation is an important first step toward getting more mental health professionals into the VA system and giving veterans the ability to quickly access mental health services when the VA cannot meet their needs,” Tillis said.