According to our most recent Annual Warrior Survey, PTSD (83%), anxiety (77%), and depression (72%) continue to rank among the top five most common health problems self-reported by WWP warriors. Wounded Warrior Project® is constantly working to connect more veterans to mental health care and believes that there should be no wrong door when seeking treatment.
While many warriors turn to VA for mental health treatment, and VA remains a national leader in providing care and support, the majority of our nation’s veterans receive care outside of VA. This is why Wounded Warrior Project® strongly supports the following measures to improve the nation’s mental health landscape, which would have a major impact on improving the mental health landscape for veterans:
- Increase proactive emergency room interventions – by passing S. 467/H.R. 1324, the Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act, and H.R. 1205, the Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act. Nearly half of all patient health care visits each year occur in emergency departments, presenting a significant opportunity to identify and treat patients at risk of suicide.
- Improve the detection, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues among public safety officers. H.R. 1480, the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome (HERO) Act, would better identify first responder suicide rates and interventions, establish peer-support behavioral health and wellness programs, and develop best practices on the prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress.
- Strengthen the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. WWP was thrilled to witness passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-172) to launch 9-8-8 as the new number for the national suicide prevention hotline. H.R. 2981, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act, would strengthen services provided by hotline and introduce a pilot program to use other communications platforms like social media and texting for suicide prevention.
WWP applauds the passage of these mental health bills through the U.S. House of Representatives and encourages bipartisan support and swift passage as they move on to the Senate.