Summary

4/9/2014--Introduced. Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers Act of 2014 or the MEPS Act - Directs the Secretary of the military department concerned to: (1) provide an individual with... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Apr 9, 2014, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide an individual with a mental health assessment before the individual enlists in the Armed Forces or is commissioned as an officer in the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers Act of 2014'' or the ``MEPS Act''.

SEC. 2. PRELIMINARY MENTAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS BECOMING MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.

(a) In General.--Chapter 31 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``Sec. 520d. Preliminary mental health assessments ``(a) Provision of Mental Health Assessment.--Before any individual enlists in an armed force or is commissioned as an officer in an armed force, the Secretary concerned shall provide the individual with a mental health assessment. The Secretary shall use such results as a baseline for any subsequent mental health examinations, including such examinations provided under sections 1074f and 1074m of this title. ``(b) Use of Assessment.--The Secretary may not consider the results of a mental health assessment conducted under subsection (a) in determining the assignment or promotion of a member of the armed forces. ``(c) Application of Privacy Laws.--With respect to applicable laws and regulations relating to the privacy of information, the Secretary shall treat a mental health assessment conducted under subsection (a) in the same manner as...

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Nation

15 Supporting
5 Opposing
75% 25%

State: CA

1 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Dear Senator Portman, On behalf of the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), we are writing to express our support for your bill S. 2231, the Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers (MEPS), which would amend Title 10, United States Code, to provide an individual with a mental health assessment before the individual enlists or is commissioned as an officer in the Armed Forces as well as upon exiting the services. According to recent studies, 20% of Army soldiers enter the service with a psychiatric disorder and a significant percentage of the suicides that occur in the military were committed by individuals who had never been deployed in a combat role. While DOD does a thorough physical assessment of individuals before they join, there is no mental health evaluation conducted. Hundreds of servicemembers have been misdiagnosed with personality disorders rather than the proper diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) upon leaving the services. S. 2231 would require that a mental health assessment be conducted alongside the physical health examination for all those applying to join and serve in the Armed Forces. The examination conducted under MEPS would test for mental illnesses as PTSD, TBI and suicidal risk and the results would serve as a baseline for future mental health assessments throughout servicemembers’ careers. The exit screening would provide more accurate information on servicemembers mental health condition as they transition to civilian life. Moreover, S. 2231 guarantees that these servicemembers continue to be checked up on throughout their military careers, ensuring they receive the proper treatment they require. Finally, this legislation also instructs the DOD to issue a report on its ability to issue servicemembers electronic copies of their health records as they leave service, helping to make servicemembers transition to civilian life as smooth as possible. Thank you for your initiative in introducing legislation which seeks to help our military community through improved mental health testing and treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 703-548-5800

Organizations Opposing

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Users Supporting

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Users Opposing

I oppose S. 2231 ("A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide an individual with a") because... wasn't that guy who shot up that Army base in TX (the first time) a "mental health professional"? How would y'all feel if we propose "mental health assessments" before you can take office as a Senator? Would that be OK?

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Bill Summary

<br /> 4/9/2014--Introduced.<br /> Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers Act of 2014 or the MEPS Act - Directs the Secretary of the military department concerned to: (1) provide an individual with a mental health assessment before such individual enlists, or is commissioned as an officer, in the Armed Forces; and (2) use assessment results as a baseline for any subsequent mental health examination. Prohibits such Secretary from considering the results of such assessment in determining the assignment or promotion of a member of the Armed Forces. Requires the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to submit to Congress and the Secretary of Defense (DOD) a report on preliminary mental health assessments of members, including recommendations regarding: (1) establishing such an assessment to bring mental health screenings to parity with physical screenings of members; and (2) the composition of the assessment, best practices, and how to track assessment changes relating to traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions. Requires the Secretary concerned to provide a comprehensive physical examination and a mental health screening to each member who, after a period of active duty of more than 180 days, is undergoing separation from the Armed Forces and is not otherwise provided such examination or screening in connection with such separation from either DOD or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Directs the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress an assessment of DOD's capacity to provide each member who is undergoing separation an electronic copy of the member's service treatment record at the time of separation.<br /> <br />

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