Murphy Bill Will Expand Mealth Health Services For Vets

By:  Natalie Cioffari
WSHU Public Radio

Combat veterans who have received “Other Than Honorable” discharges are now eligible for mental and behavioral health service through the VA.

That’s because Senator Chris Murphy’s Honor Our Commitment Act was passed as part of the recent federal budget agreement.

Murphy says the bill is intended to reduce the epidemic of veteran suicide. According to the VA, the suicide risk for veterans is 22 percent higher than that of civilians.

“And so our hope is that this legislation, as it becomes implemented, will be part of what helps us reverse this really, really awful trend of veteran suicides. We hope that all of the light that we have shed on this problem will cause the military to change the way in which they discharge soldiers, and sailors, and marines, and airmen.”

Murphy says the bill also expands mental and behavioral health services to victims of sexual assault within the military.