Grassroots Action Center

Join Our Grassroots Network and Help Us Implement VA Mental Health Legislation!
Action Alert
On Oct. 17, 2020, S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, was signed into law. S. 785 is sweeping legislation that seeks to increase access to mental health care for veterans in the VA system. The bill directs the VA to make major changes to increase the hiring of mental health counselors at VA health centers across the country. Among its many provisions, the bill directs the VA to work with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to create an occupational series for mental health counselors. It also requires the VA, in consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, to report to Congress on barriers to the hiring of mental health counselors in the VA. Finally, it establishes the VA Readjustment Counseling Service Scholarship Program, which will be open to mental health counselors.

NBCC has been seeking these changes for many years, and we are very excited that they have now become law. However, we must now turn our attention to the implementation of the bill. We want to make sure that the VA follows the directives from Congress and implements these changes in a way that will significantly increase the hiring of mental health counselors within the system. We are asking counselors to help us in this effort! If you are interested in reaching out to the VA and requesting that they increase the hiring of mental health counselors, sign up for our Grassroots Network and select the “Veterans” option in the “Select Your Advocacy Interests” section.
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