On October 23rd, 2020, we saw a great victory for veterans’ mental health care. President Trump signed a landmark bipartisan bill, S.785,The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act.
S.785 is named to celebrate the legacy of NAMI Montana member and retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, who served for 23 years and fought a courageous battle with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder.
When veterans transition out of service into civilian life, they can experience many challenges. And tragically, 17 veterans die by suicide each day. Our nation must do better for those who serve our country. This legislation will:
This bill will help transitioning and former service members access better care—care they deserve and need—and advance research into mental health conditions.
CDR Hannon embodied the strength of veterans with mental health conditions, and this bill represents his passion and efforts to improve access to veterans’ mental health care.
We did it! Because of actions you took, S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, has been signed into law by President Trump. This bill makes 9-8-8 a nationwide three-digit dialing code for mental health crises and suicide prevention.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved 9-8-8 with a goal to have it available by July 2022.* S. 2661 will make 9-8-8 fully operational and provide resources to meet the demand for mental health services. When a person is in a mental health crisis, they can be connected to mental health support instead of ending up in the back of a police car. This law will help make that possible.
This victory is because of the power of your voice and that of tens of thousands of other mental health advocates calling for a better way to help people with mental health conditions and their loved ones during a mental health crisis.
Thank you for your advocacy!
*9-8-8 is not yet operational, but help is available now if you or somebody you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in crisis. Text “NAMI” to 741741 or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.