WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs better identify veterans facing higher mental health risks. The VA Precision Medicine Act would require the agency to implement an initiative that identifies brain health biomarkers to help determine which veterans are at higher risk for depression, post-traumatic stress, and other threats to mental health. It also requires the VA develop data privacy and security measures to ensure that veterans’ information remains private and secure.
“We lose 20 servicemembers to suicide a day,” said Bost. “We need to find new ways to address this crisis. Modern medicine and scientific research have made it possible to identify patients who are at a higher risk of developing cancer, dementia, or even depression. This important legislation requires the VA to implement these medical advances in order to better identify veterans who may be more likely to develop depression or PTSD. If we can get these veterans the care they need sooner, then it is less likely that tomorrow they will become one of the 20.”