Coffman’s Bill to Help Female Vets Signed into Law
Requires VA to Increase Counselors to Help Female Veterans
Aurora, CO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) lauded the President’s signing of H.R. 6, the ‘Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.’ Congress passed this bill on October 3, 2018 and with the President’s signature it is now the law of the land.
Significantly for Coffman, his bill, H.R. 4635, the “Peer-2-Peer Counseling Act”, was amended to it before the President signed it. The ‘Peer-2-Peer Counseling Act’ requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) existing peer-to-peer counseling program to expand the number of female peer counselors who serve our nation’s growing female veteran population. The number of female veterans is increasing as the number of female active duty military personnel approaches 20% of the total force.
“The VA has been slow to gear up for the growing role that women play in our military and the demands that their increasing numbers will place on the VA system when they leave active duty. My bill, now law, is a recognition of that and it requires the VA to increase the number of counselors who are trained to specifically address the needs of the women who have served our nation in uniform,” said Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran.
The Peer-2-Peer Counseling Act emphasizes that these new counselors prioritize helping women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military, are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from combat deployments, or have other mental health conditions making it difficult for them to readjust to civilian life. These conditions are strong indicators that these female veterans are at risk for homelessness and even suicide.
This marks five bills Coffman has passed into law in the 115th Congress.
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