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Senators Hassan’s Bipartisan Bill to Support Veterans’ Mental Health Set to be Included in Government Funding Bill

Bill Designates One Week Each Year as “Buddy Check Week” Modeled off American Legion Program

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan bill to support veterans’ mental health is set to be included in the end-of-year government funding bill. The bill would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to designate one week per year as “Buddy Check Week” to organize outreach events and educate veterans on how to conduct peer wellness checks.


“Veterans all across New Hampshire have shared with me their personal struggles with mental health, and their stories have made it exceedingly clear that we must do more to address this issue,” said Senator Hassan. “Instituting a Buddy Check Week is an evidence-based approach that will make a real difference in combatting veteran suicide, and I am pleased that we will soon pass this into law.”


The bill is modeled after the American Legion’s “Buddy Check National Week of Calling” to connect veterans to other veterans in order to better ensure that they receive the support they need. Under the bill, the VA would work directly with nonprofits that serve veterans, mental health experts, and members of the Armed Forces to provide educational opportunities for veterans to learn how to conduct peer wellness checks. Additionally, the bill would ensure that the Veterans Crisis Line has a plan in place for the potential increase in calls that may occur during a “Buddy Check Week.”


Senators Hassan is working to support veterans. In October, President Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan to strengthen the Solid Start program, which contacts every veteran three times by phone in the first year after they leave active duty service to check in and help connect them to VA programs and benefits.