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H.R. 1749: PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 13, 2019 (Introduced).


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1749

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 13, 2019

(for himself, Ms. Stefanik, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Suozzi, Mr. Collins of New York, and Mr. King of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make grants to State and local entities to carry out peer-to-peer mental health programs.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program Act.

2.

P.F.C. Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a grant program to be known as the P.F.C. Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program under which the Secretary shall make grants to eligible entities for the purpose of establishing peer-to-peer mental health programs for veterans.

(b)

Eligible entity defined

In this section, the term eligible entity means any of the following entities that submit to the Secretary an application containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require:

(1)

A nonprofit organization having historically served veterans mental health needs.

(2)

A congressionally chartered veteran service organization.

(3)

A State, local, or tribal veteran service agency, director, or commissioner.

(c)

Amount of grant

The recipient of a grant under this section shall receive a grant in an amount that does not exceed $250,000.

(d)

Use of funds

The recipient of a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to—

(1)

carry out a program that meets the standards developed under subsection (e);

(2)

hire veterans to serve as peer specialists to host group and individual meetings with veterans seeking nonclinical support;

(3)

provide mental health support to veterans 24 hours each day, seven days each week; and

(4)

hire staff to support the program.

(e)

Program standards

(1)

Advisory commission

The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee for the purpose of creating appropriate standards applicable to programs established using grants under this section.

(2)

Standards

The standards developed under paragraph (1) shall include initial and continued training for veteran peer volunteers, administrative staffing needs, and best practices for addressing the needs of each veteran served.

(f)

Nonretention of records

The Secretary may not require the recipient of a grant under this section to maintain records on veterans seeking support or to report any personally identifying information directly or indirectly to the Secretary about such veterans.

(g)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated $25,000,000 to carry out this section during the 3-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.