New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1176-2016    Version: * Name: Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act (H.R. 4684)
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services
On agenda: 8/16/2016
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, H.R. 4684, the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act
Sponsors: Andrew Cohen, Donovan J. Richards, Helen K. Rosenthal, Annabel Palma, Vincent J. Gentile, Peter A. Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Margaret S. Chin, Joseph C. Borelli
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Attachments: 1. H.R. 4684, 2. August 16, 2016 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files

Res. No. 1176

 

Resolution calling upon the United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, H.R. 4684, the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act

 

By Council Members Cohen, Richards, Rosenthal, Palma, Gentile, Koo, Koslowitz, Chin and Borelli   

 

                     Whereas, The impact of military service on the mental health of service members and veterans is a significant challenge for those who served in the armed forces; and

                     Whereas, According to the Army STARRS (Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers) report, which was published in 2014, 25 percent of non-deployed personnel met 30-day criteria for a mood, behavior, or substance disorder; and

                     Whereas, Additionally, the study found that 13.9 percent of currently active, non-deployed, regular army soldiers had considered suicide at some point in their life and that 2.4 percent of currently active, non-deployed soldiers had attempted suicide, versus just .28 percent within the larger US population; and

                     Whereas, According to U.S. News and World Report, since 2009, the Army has separated at least 22,000 combat veterans diagnosed with mental health disabilities or traumatic brain injury (TBI) for alleged misconduct; and

                     Whereas, Veterans often struggle to access the essential mental healthcare; and

                      Whereas, According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, veterans had to wait for an average of 26 days for their mental health appointments; and

                      Whereas, On March 3, 2016, Representative Mike Coffman introduced the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act, H.R. 4684; and

                     Whereas, The bill would mandate that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) create a program that would provide both initial mental health assessments and urgent healthcare services to veterans who have been deemed at risk for suicide or harming others, even if these veterans have “bad paper” discharges such as “other than honorable”; and

                     Whereas, Additionally, the bill would require a third-party study of veteran suicide to review “the effect of combat service has on veteran suicide rates, the rate and method of suicide among veterans who have received healthcare from the VA and, the rate and method of suicide among veterans who have not received healthcare from the VA”; and                                          Whereas, In light of the struggles that service members face in living with mental health issues but also receiving treatment, enactment of this bill represents a vital step forward in both the prevention and treatment of mental illness for our men and women in uniform; now, therefore, be it                                          Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on Congress to pass, and the President to sign into law, H.R. 4684, the Veterans Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act.

LS# 8163/8406

6/24/16

MK