TITUSVILLE – On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, PA-5, announced that 29 additional national organizations have formally endorsed the Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members (MEPS) Act (H.R. 4305 / S. 2231), Thompson-sponsored legislation designed to improve the way the military identifies and assesses mental health issues.
The coalition, which largely consists of medical advocacy groups, issued a letter outlining their support for the bipartisan legislation and pledging to work with Congress to enact the proposal into law.
“The undersigned national organizations representing consumers, family members, advocates, providers and professionals are pleased to express support for the Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members Act,” the groups stated.
“As organizations that advocate for improved access to mental health and addiction services, including screening, assessment, early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation services and supports for Americans, we applaud your leadership in introducing legislation that promotes the mental health of our nation’s service members.”
Thompson along with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced the MEPS Act on March 27. The bill has since garnered support in the Senate and a companion bill, S. 2231, was introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Jay Rockefeller on April 9.
“Your commitment to improving our Nation’s military capability and the quality of life for our service members, their families, and their fellow military members is commendable, and we thank you for undertaking such a goal,” the letter continues.
“We believe the MEPS will aid substantially in early detection and treatment of mental health conditions in service members, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you to help enact this important legislation.”
Since introduction, the MEPS Act has garnered more than 30 cosponsors in the House, including support from the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. In addition to the 29 medical organizations, the bill is supported by more than a dozen military and veteran service organizations.