Tester Bill Helps Guard Access Mental-health Care

Washington Report

(July 25, 2017) As he promised during a seminar at NGAUS last month, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has introduced legislation that would give reserve-component members greater access to mental-health care.

Called the Care for Reservists Act, Tester referred to it during a seminar at NGAUS that focused on challenges National Guardsmen and Reservists have obtaining mental-health care.

“Despite the United States’ increased reliance on your services, there is a crisis in access to mental-health and behavioral-health care,” he said at the event.

NGAUS supports the legislation, which has several co-sponsors and was introduced last week.

The bill’s main thrust is to expand eligibility for readjustment counseling at Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Centers to Guardsmen and Reservists. This would include outpatient care from a certified mental-health-care provider.

Overall, the legislation aims to include Guard and Reserve members in VA programs that address mental-health problems and suicide prevention.

Tester was one of several speakers, including mental-health-care providers and service members, to appear at the seminar sponsored