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Amata urges ongoing mental health research funding for Veterans

Congresswoman Aumua Amata [SN file photo]
Source: Office of the Congresswoman

Washington, D.C.Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata urged the VA to keep an ongoing commitment to mental health research funding as a priority for veterans during the Committee’s examination of the Department’s budget plan.

“Along with our high enlistment rate in the Armed Forces, we naturally have a large percentage of veterans among our population,” said Aumua Amata. “The veterans I know in American Samoa are very proud of their service, but it’s a fact that some encounter ongoing challenges associated with those years in the military. The country has made important steps forward in understanding and treating PTSD and other needs that occur with time in the Armed Forces, but we must ensure that we put the needs of these veterans front and center.”

The oversight hearing in the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is the initial examination of the yearly budget request from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The federal government has increased veterans funding at higher rates than other government expenditures over the past decade, and this fiscal year’s VA request is a $12 billion increase over the prior year for veterans’ services.

“Veterans still face obstacles in getting access to all the health care they need,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “I appreciate that these needs are a priority for the Members of the Committee and its leadership, and I urge the VA to remain focused on this effort.”