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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: September 8, 2015 08:53 AM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation – Establishing the Office of Veterans Mental Health Awareness
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that will amend Title 51 (Military Affairs) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, which provides for the delivery of services and programs to veterans with cognitive mental disabilities and emotional trauma, by establishing the Office of Veterans Mental Health Awareness. Rep. Tom Murt has introduced this same bill, HB 1014, in the House. (It was introduced as HB 1019 last session.)

This legislation will do the following:
  • Provide veterans with full access to a range of support services and programs.
  • Provide veterans equal access to all support services and awareness programs.
  • Provide information to veterans and their health care providers regarding emotional trauma, mental disability, mental illness, sexual and other personal trauma.
  • Provide veterans with a list of available health care providers.
  • Assist in maintaining employment and support services for veterans in their homes and communities.
The need for this legislation to be introduced in the Senate was brought to my attention by constituents from my district who are dedicated to assisting all veterans who face emotional and/or mental health issues, so that these veterans can receive the necessary services thus promoting independent living and strong family sustainability.

Veterans need assistance in obtaining or maintaining employment, financial stability, and health care services. This legislation focuses on providing the necessary services that address many of the issues that our veterans face in the transition back to civilian life. In a time when more and more of our veterans deal with chronic and debilitating emotional issues it is of the utmost importance to assist them in their transitions and to improve the quality of their life through an outreach program.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed and timely legislation for our brave military members who have served and sacrificed for our country.

Introduced as SB1019