Volz bill aims to improve mental health services available to college veterans

Rep. Mike Volz, R-Spokane, has sponsored legislation that would help improve mental health services on college campuses.

House Bill 1716 would direct state and regional universities, and the state college, to employ at least one, full-time mental health counselor. The Washington State Board of Health has approved of the bill, saying it has potential to improve mental health outcomes for veteran students and staff.

Volz, an Army veteran, says the bill could help veterans affected by mental health crises while keeping them on track to graduate.

“Reintegration into civilian life can be especially difficult for veterans returning to college,” he said. “Having access to a mental health counselor could mean the difference between dropping out or completing their coursework and earning their degrees. House Bill 1716 is a great way for us to give back a little to those who have given so much.”

Research posted by the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research reveals 20 percent of the veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The bill is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov