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Veterans mental health

Increasing veterans access to care with automatic enrollment in the VA

APA Services supports legislation to automatically enroll all transitioning service members into the VA.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2022, January 19). Increasing veterans access to care with automatic enrollment in the VA. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/veterans-access-automatic-enrollment

Military member speaking with someone

APA Services has endorsed the Ensuring Veterans’ Smooth Transition Act (EVEST). The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mark Takano (D-CA), seeks to ensure that all transitioning service members are automatically enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expedite health care and other services.

The mental health of veterans and their families (PDF, 853KB) has long been a focus of APA Services. Injuries ranging from traumatic brain injury to sexual trauma have been observed in transitioning members of the armed services and the VA is well positioned to help treat these problems.

Prompt action is often essential to ensuring the transitioning member has the care they need to successfully reintegrate into civilian life. The VA’s own research demonstrates the value of prompt mental health care for those leaving the Service. The EVEST Act seeks to ensure this prompt care is possible for thousands of individuals.

The EVEST Act also seeks to increase use of VA services by ensuring that members of the armed services know about the programs and their availability. Currently, the VA struggles to track transitioning individuals and contact them about the VA services available to them. This bill will require the Department of Defense to coordinate with the VA to bridge this gap.

APA Services is hopeful this legislation will go a long way in promoting mental health and well-being for veterans and their families.

For more information, contact Corbin Evans.