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H.R. 5059 (113th): Clay Hunt SAV Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

12/9/2014--Passed House amended. Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act or the Clay Hunt SAV Act - (Sec. 2) Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to: (1) arrange for an independent third party evaluation, at least annually, of the VA's mental health care and suicide prevention programs; and (2) submit a report to Congress, by December 1 of each year, containing the most recent evaluations not yet submitted to Congress and any recommendations the Secretary considers appropriate.

(Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary to survey the VA's existing Internet websites and information resources to publish an Internet website that serves as a centralized source to provide veterans with information, updated at least once every 90 days, regarding all of the VA's mental health care services.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary to carry out a three-year pilot program to repay the education loans relating to psychiatric medicine that are incurred by individuals who:

are eligible to practice psychiatric medicine in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or are enrolled in the final year of a residency program leading to a specialty qualification in psychiatric medicine; demonstrate a commitment to a long-term career as a psychiatrist in the VHA; and agree to a period of two or more years of obligated service with the VHA in the field of psychiatric medicine, as determined by the Secretary. Limits the loan repayment to no more than $30,000 for each year an individual performs such obligated service.

Directs the Secretary to submit interim and final reports to Congress on such pilot program.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to establish a three-year pilot program at not less than five Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) to assist veterans transitioning from active duty and to improve the access of veterans to mental health services. Requires the pilot program at each VISN to include: (1) a community oriented veteran peer support network, carried out in partnership with an entity that has experience in peer support programs; and (2) a community outreach team for each medical center in such VISN.

Directs the Secretary to submit interim and final reports to Congress on such pilot program.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes the Secretary to collaborate with nonprofit mental health organizations to prevent suicide among veterans. Requires the Secretary and any such organization with which the Secretary is collaborating to exchange training sessions and best practices.

Directs the Secretary to select a VA Director of Suicide Prevention Coordination to undertake any collaboration with nonprofit mental health organizations.

(Sec. 7) Extends, for the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2015, combat veterans' eligibility for VA hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for illnesses which have not been medically proven to be attributable to their service, provided: (1) they were discharged or released from active duty between January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2011, and (2) did not enroll to receive such care during the five-year period of eligibility following their discharge.

(Sec. 8) Prohibits the authorization of any additional appropriations to carry out this Act's provisions.