If signed into law, a new bill may bring us one step closer to making sure veterans get the mental health support and resources they need and deserve.

The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019 was passed unanimously by members of the U.S. Senate on August 5, 2020. In addition to expanding transition assistance services for veterans, the bill will require the VA to "take specific actions towards preventing veteran suicide," including conducting studies and updating guidelines where necessary.

In a recent press release, the bill's co-sponsor, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), called it "the most consequential veterans’ mental health bill we have seen in years." The legislation now moves to the House, and if it passes the president must then sign it into law.

VA health care is vital for the more than 20 million veterans in the United States.

VA health care coverage is one of the most—possibly the most—important government benefits provided for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

In addition to routine checkups and exams, the VA covers emergency care services as well as scheduled inpatient procedures such as surgeries and dialysis. However, access to mental health services and support is not yet where it needs to be, especially given the alarmingly high rate of veteran suicide deaths over the past decade and countless studies pointing to higher suicide rates among veterans when compared with civilians.

It is the hope of the bill's sponsors and supporters that the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019, named for retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon who died by suicide, will bring about some much-needed improvements.

Like all veteran benefits, you will need to show proof of service and honorable discharge.

And the form most commonly requested is the DD214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. You should have received your DD214 upon separation from the Armed Forces, but if you didn't, or if it has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you should consider ordering a replacement copy as soon as possible.

Many government agencies were closed in recent months due to COVID-19 safety precautions but are now open for business. DD214Direct works with 75 government agencies to get your records faster than you can do on your own, and in digital form. Take advantage of our limited-time $20 COVID discount when you order your DD214 today.

Not sure which copy you need? Click here.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than you could get them on your own. First, we digitize both your request and the returned documents, using electronic signatures to avoid extra time with the postal service. We also integrate email and fax throughout our entire process, while many agencies do not. 

To further expedite the process, our team ensures your initial request is filled out properly the first time and includes the necessary supporting documentation so that it doesn't bounce back. In addition, we break up multiple requests (DD214, OMPF, etc.) so that each piece is handled separately and one does not delay the other. 

Once your request is processed, DD214Direct becomes your personal advocate, working directly with the agency that holds your records (currently there are about 75 independent agencies) and immediately responding to any agency issues on your behalf. In many cases, DD214Direct is able to advance your request to a higher-priority workflow. Finally, we have team members at many locations to drop off and pick up documents. 

Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier. Once we locate your DD214, we can email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.