Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today voted to advance the Student Veterans Counseling Centers Eligibility Act (H.R. 4233), which expands eligibility for counseling services to transitioning service members and veterans returning to school.
“Mental health in the military and for our veterans cannot be ignored,” Stefanik said. “Our nation’s veterans and service members have selflessly served their country, and now Congress must fulfill its duty to those who sacrificed to keep us safe. As our veterans and servicemembers transition back to their communities and into the classroom, I’m proud to work to ensure they have the mental health support they deserve.”
Currently, these mental health services are only available to eligible veterans, service members, and their families, including those who served in combat or in response to a national emergency. Under this legislation, service members and student veterans could request counseling and mental health services at Veterans Affairs (VA) Readjustment Counseling Centers (Vet Centers). These Vet Centers are community-based, not co-located with VA medical center campuses, and provide free, confidential services.
Stefanik recently penned an op-ed in the Watertown Daily Times bringing attention to the issue of military mental health.
Stefanik cosponsored this legislation, introduced by Congressman Greg Murphy (R-N.C.). Read full text of the bill here.