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Expanding Access to Alternative Therapies for Missouri's Veterans

Call to Arms
Call to Arms
May 8, 2024
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In Missouri, groundbreaking legislation is on the horizon that promises to reshape the landscape of mental health care for military veterans. House Bill 1830 and its Senate companion, SB 768, championed by Senator Holly Rehder and Representative Aaron McMullin, are poised to open doors to in-clinic alternative therapies for conditions like PTSD, chronic depression, and opioid addiction. This initiative represents a pivotal shift towards embracing a broader spectrum of effective treatment options beyond conventional methods.

The proposed legislation advocates for clinically supervised access to therapies that have shown promising results in various studies but remain underutilized due to regulatory barriers and outdated perceptions. While these bills currently focus on veterans, the hope is that successful implementation will pave the way for expanding access to other groups in need, such as first responders, who equally face high incidences of mental health challenges.

It's important to acknowledge the cautious approach taken by Missouri’s lawmakers, focusing initially on veterans to facilitate broader acceptance and to address the prevalent biases against these therapies. This strategy, although slow, is a calculated effort to integrate new treatments into the healthcare system without overwhelming the public and political stakeholders with too radical a change.

The reality is, expanding access to these therapies requires a shift in how we view mental health treatment—moving away from a stigma-filled perspective to one that embraces innovation and compassion. Our veterans, who have sacrificed so much, deserve every opportunity to reclaim their mental well-being through proven, safe, and effective treatments.

As constituents, we have a powerful voice in supporting this legislative effort. I urge you to reach out to your state representatives and senators, asking them to support Senator Rehder and Representative McMullin in passing SB 768 and HB 1830. It’s time to give our veterans access to the comprehensive care they need to combat PTSD, depression, and addiction. Let's not delay in giving our heroes the support they deserve.

By advocating for these bills, we not only stand behind our veterans but also lay the groundwork for a future where comprehensive mental health care is accessible to all who need it, regardless of their profession or background. Together, we can ensure that alternative therapies are no longer an exception, but a vital part of our healthcare system.

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