On Oct. 17, 2020, S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, was signed into law. S. 785 is a sweeping piece of legislation that seeks to increase access to mental health care for veterans in the Veterans Affairs (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. It also creates the VA Readjustment Counseling Service Scholarship Program, which will be open to mental health counselors. NBCC’s Government & Legislative Affairs Department has been advocating for these changes for many years, and this legislation is the successful culmination of many of those efforts.
NBCC is now turning its focus toward the implementation of this legislation. We will be working closely with the VA to make sure the congressional directives in this legislation are carried out correctly. 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.