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Wittman, Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Sailor Standard of Care Act
Washington, May 16, 2023
Tags: Health Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), alongside Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02), and Congressmen Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), introduced the Sailor Standard of Care Act to improve mental healthcare for the men and women serving in the United States Navy.
This important, bipartisan legislation would increase mental health resources and require mental health screenings for sailors assigned to limited duty, address challenges servicemembers and their families face accessing mental healthcare through TRICARE, implement a quality-of-life tracker, and expedite the Navy’s medical separation process that negatively impacts limited duty sailors.
“Ensuring our sailors have access to the mental health resources they need is of the utmost importance,” said Rep. Wittman. “Our men and women in uniform face incredible experiences and challenges during their time of service, and we have a duty to ensure they are receiving the proper treatment and care they need to stay safe and healthy. I’m proud to join Rep. Kiggans on this important bill to increase mental health research and care efforts within the Department of the Navy and provide our sailors with the quality of life they deserve.”
“As a former Navy helicopter pilot and healthcare provider, it infuriates me that the number of sailors who die by suicide continues to rise,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Our community here in Hampton Roads has been particularly devastated by these tragedies. It’s clear for anyone to see - we have to better serve those serving our great country. I’m proud to lead the bipartisan effort to provide our service members with the mental healthcare they need and reverse this troubling rise in suicides. I will not rest until the Navy is equipped to provide the resources and quality of life each and every sailor deserves.”
“There has been a disturbing rise in the number of sailors dying by suicide in recent years; and the Navy must ensure that our sailors are able to access the mental health services that they deserve,” said Congressman Scott. “The Sailor Standard of Care Act addresses these concerns by directing the Navy to expedite care, increase mental health screenings, and establish a framework to improve the mental health of sailors. I thank Representatives Kiggans, Wittman and Panetta for their partnership on this important bipartisan legislation.”
“Due to the alarming rates of suicide and hospitalization amongst sailors, there appears to be a growing mental health dilemma in the United States Navy,” said Rep. Panetta. “I’m proud to support the bipartisan Sailor Standard of Care Act to improve the mental health care available to our naval servicemembers with increased access to services and a better comprehension of the problems that we are facing within the ranks. This legislation would ensure that the U.S. Navy is doing its part to care for the men and women who put their own wellbeing on the line to serve our nation.”
Specifically, the Sailor Standard of Care Act would:
To read the full bill text, click here.