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Summary: The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code as it relates to the mental health program for veterans. H.B. 2392 seeks to expand the efficacy of the mental health intervention program for veterans administered by DSHS. The program will include peer-to-peer counseling, access to licensed mental health professionals for volunteer coordinators and peers, training approved by the department for peers, technical assistance for volunteer coordinators and peers, grants to regional and local organizations providing services, recruitment, retention, and screening of community-based therapists, suicide prevention training for volunteer coordinators and peers, and veteran jail diversion services, and veterans courts.
This legislation requires DSHS to establish a grant program which DSHS may award grants to regional and local organizations for the delivery of veterans mental health programs or mental health services. In addition an annual report will be required of the administering body to record participation and recommend improvements.
Analysis: This legislation takes an existing program and attempts to restructure it to make it more efficient and effective without adding to the cost of the program or appropriating new funds. Without commenting on the value or necessity of the program itself, which is not the subject of the legislation at hand, we support the attempt to make the program a more effective tool to help our nation's veterans.