Georgia senator sponsors bill for free mental health care for military members and families

Ga. senator sponsoring bill for free mental health care for military members, their families
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 6:08 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - For the brave servicemembers that protect at home and abroad, some military service members deal with mental health-related issues. As it relates to Georgia, WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with Senator Jon Ossoff to see about the bill he’s sponsoring to help military families.

Georgia Senator Ossoff has a proposed bill that would help with the mental health of service members and their families. Senator, can you tell us about your proposal?

“Thanks for having me. And yes, I’ve just written and introduced bipartisan legislation with one of my Republican colleagues to expand access to free mental health services for military families, for active duty service members, guard and reserve personnel, their spouses. And their kids, they are having too much difficulty accessing mental health services. They’re under a lot of strain with repeated deployments, having to move around the country. So this bipartisan legislation, again supported by Republicans and Democrats, will expand their access to free mental health services for both the service member and their families,” Ossoff said.

The military is having trouble keeping service members, getting people to sign up to volunteer, and to keep them in. Obviously, this will help, hopefully.

“I am so full of gratitude for Georgia military families, but gratitude is not enough,” Ossoff said. “We have to meet their commitment and their sacrifice with the service and the quality of life that they need. That’s why I’ve been so focused on upgrading military housing and that’s why I’m introducing this legislation to make sure of it, military families. Including spouses and dependents have expanded free access to mental health services.”

The way things are going in Washington, D.C., do you see any trouble passing a bill like this?

“Look, I think when we can bring Republicans and Democrats together, we’ve got a better shot at getting something done,” Ossoff said. “I think most Americans, most Georgians, are tired of the political circus and frankly, increasingly identify as politically independent. So if we can put partisan differences aside, put the national interest first, bring a commitment to our military families, make that our top priority. And we’ve got a shot at. Getting this done.”

That’s good news because the military is very important, especially at this time.

“Well, and last year I wrote and passed legislation that expanded mental health service access for veterans. Now I’m working to do the same for active duty personnel and their families,” Ossoff said.