H.R.1639 - Military Health Services Improvement Act of 2005109th Congress (2005-2006)
Summary: H.R.1639 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Introduced in House (04/14/2005)
Military Health Services Improvement Act of 2005 - Directs the Secretary of Defense to prescribe a requirement that members of the Armed Forces: (1) deploying to a combat theater receive a pre-deployment mental health evaluation conducted by a qualified mental health professional; and (2) returning from service of more than 30 days in a combat theater, or injured in a combat theater, receive a post-deployment combat stress evaluation conducted by a qualified mental health professional.
Directs the Secretary to implement a program designed to: (1) raise awareness about mental health issues that members may encounter during and after deployment; and (2) reduce the stigma associated with mental health care.
Directs the Secretary to develop a program to improve awareness of the availability of mental health services for, and warning signs about mental health problems in, dependents of members who served or will serve in a combat theater during the previous or next 60 days. Requires such program to include a toll-free number and informational website.
Directs the Secretary: (1) and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into a memorandum of understanding to improve the transition of mental health-related cases from the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); (2) to create an information clearinghouse to improve the availability of information about mental health professionals who treat combat stress; and (3) to provide for the availability (for a two-year period) of mental health services under the TRICARE program (a DOD managed health care program) for reserve personnel who performed certain active duty (and their family members).