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Luria advocates for women veterans’ mental health programs

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria has announced her support of legislation to both expand and make permanent the Department of Veterans Affairs’ pilot program that provides counseling in retreat settings for women veterans coping with post-traumatic stress.

Luria, D-Va., joins Chairwoman Julia Brownley, who leads the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, in supporting passage of the Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans‎ Act (H.R. 2798).

“As a veteran myself, I know the unique challenges women veterans face when returning home from service. Women now make up the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in VA health care and deserve quality mental health care to address issues such as PTSD and military sexual trauma,” Luria said. “This program provides vital counseling in an effective setting that promotes mental wellness and builds support networks among women veterans.”

The Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act would permanently authorize the existing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program that offers counseling and supports retreat programs for women veterans who have recently separated from the military and expand the program nationwide.

Under the pilot program, a total of 12 retreats were provided to hundreds of women veterans between 2011 and 2016, focusing on building trust and developing peer support in a therapeutic environment. The covered services in this program include information on reintegration into the family, employment, and community of the veteran, as well as financial counseling, occupational counseling, and counseling on stress reduction and conflict resolution.

augusta free press
augusta free press