As the daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, Senator Capito values the sacrifices made by those who honorably serve our nation. She is dedicated to ensuring that our servicemen and women, veterans, and their families are provided with the support and benefits they deserve. Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Capito has advocated for the reforms necessary to improve access and quality of care for veterans.
As the injuries from war change and a new generation of veterans re-enter civilian life, it is crucial that Congress work with the VA to provide all the resources necessary to ensure a smooth transition for our veterans. This includes continually modernizing efforts in job training and opportunities, mental health services, housing assistance and educational benefits.
Senator Capito has grave concerns about the lack of mental health services within the VA. While our veterans are provided with better technology and protection in the face of war, the traumatic effects can be detrimental for returning veterans and their families. Senator Capito was a proud cosponsor of The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which established a pilot-program to recruit more mental health professionals to the VA, created a website with better access to resources and materials for assistance, and required a third party evaluation of the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs within the VA. Senator Capito believes that there is still more to be done to prevent veteran suicides and has consistently supported legislation to build upon Clay Hunt and ensure that veterans receive the proper support that they need.
Senator Capito successfully worked to include her legislation, the Andrew White Veterans Community Care Opioid Safety Act in to the VA MISSION Act, legislation that made some of the largest reforms to the VA health care system in history. This measure, which was named after West Virginian Andrew White, a Marine who was overprescribed a strong antipsychotic drug after returning home from Iraq and died tragically in his sleep at the age of 23, strengthens opioid therapy safety and pain care through VA community care programs. This legislation expands upon the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act, which Senators Capito cosponsored, that strengthened the VA’s opioid prescribing guidelines, put in place stronger oversight and accountability, and provided safer and more effective pain management services for our nation’s veterans.
Senator Capito believes that it is important to look into unconventional methods to addressing the mental health of veterans. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Senator Capito was able to create an Agritherapy pilot program at the Woody Williams VAMC in Huntington. Due to the success of the pilot program, it was renewed and serves as a shining example for VA facilities across the country.
As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Senator Capito works to represent West Virginia veterans and their needs and will continue to fight for reforms that improve the treatment of veterans and their families.