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Rep. Chip Brown passes bill updating mental health services for veterans

The Alabama House on Wednesday awarded final passage to the measure.

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The Alabama House on Wednesday awarded final passage to a measure carried by State Rep. Chip Brown, R – Hollinger’s Island, that will ensure that the mental health needs and services required by military veterans across the state are being met.

“It is important to provide the men and women across Alabama who wore a uniform in defense of our nation with the quality mental health services that they need and earned,” Brown said. “Alabamians are a fiercely patriotic people, and our deep love for our country can be demonstrated by properly acknowledging the devotion, sacrifices, and mental health needs of our veterans.”

Senate Bill 135 by Sen. Andrew Jones, R – Centre, authorizes the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs to work jointly in creating a comprehensive plan for the mental health care, treatment, and recovery of Alabama veterans.

The plan, which will be developed by the Veterans Mental Health Steering Committee comprised of state agency heads, public officials, and other stakeholders, must focus on providing services in areas that include substance abuse recovery, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions.

Among those eligible for assistance once the comprehensive plan is put in place are Alabama residents who served in the ground, naval, air, or space forces of the U.S. military and were honorably released or discharged.

Honorably-discharged veterans of the Alabama National Guard, Alabama Air National Guard, and reserve forces of the U.S. military qualify, as well.

The plan for offering comprehensive services must be submitted to the Alabama Legislature for review and input by April 1, 2025 and forwarded to the governor for review and approval by June 30, 2025.

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A provision requires the governor to begin taking action on implementing the plan no later than August 31, 2025.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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