Congresswoman Elaine Luria Advocates for Women Veterans’ Mental Health Programs

June 10, 2020
Press Release

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria announced her support of legislation to both expand and make permanent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) pilot program that provides counseling in retreat settings for women veterans coping with post-traumatic stress. Congresswoman Luria joins Chairwoman Julia Brownley, who leads the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, in supporting passage of the Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans‎ Act (H.R. 2798).

“As a veteran myself, I know the unique challenges women veterans face when returning home from service. Women now make up the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in VA health care and deserve quality mental health care to address issues such as PTSD and military sexual trauma,” said Congresswoman Luria. “This program provides vital counseling in an effective setting that promotes mental wellness and builds support networks among women veterans.”

The Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act would permanently authorize the existing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program that offers counseling and supports retreat programs for women veterans who have recently separated from the military and expand the program nationwide. Under the pilot program, a total of 12 retreats were provided to hundreds of women veterans between 2011 and 2016, focusing on building trust and developing peer support in a therapeutic environment. The covered services in this program include information on reintegration into the family, employment, and community of the veteran, as well as financial counseling, occupational counseling, and counseling on stress reduction and conflict resolution.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.