Legislation introduced by Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) to strengthen mental health care for veterans was signed into law by the President of the United States. The bipartisan VA Mental Health Staffing Act and provisions from the VA Mental Health Counseling Act were included in the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 116-171. 

“The Commander JSH Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act is a comprehensive approach to bolster mental health care for veterans and address veteran suicide,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “Too many veterans, in Connecticut and across the country, do not have access to affordable and effective mental health care and this bill addresses that issue.

“Social isolation and anxiety has worsened for many veterans and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. While this legislation ensures critical care and services that will support veterans, my hope is this law will serve as an indication to our veterans and service members that they are not alone. This legislation aims to reach every veteran, including those who live in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

“With this legislation we are taking another step to provide veterans with greater and earlier access to mental health care and end veteran suicide.”

Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.