In October 2020, VA began implementing additional mental health and suicide prevention services to help Veterans and their families lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act (the Hannon Act) was inspired by the service of Commander John Scott Hannon, a decorated Veteran who retired after a 23-year career with the Navy SEALs.

Commander Hannon believed in giving back to his community by mentoring at-risk youth, including the Montana chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), and local animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations.

Commander Hannon died by suicide on February 25, 2018, at the age of 46.

Expands services to Veterans in remote areas

The Hannon Act builds upon VA’s already strong mental health and suicide prevention efforts and includes grants that will expand community-based suicide prevention and telehealth services to reach Veterans in remote areas.

The comprehensive legislation also plans to ensure all service members transitioning from active duty have access to a full year of support services and programs immediately following discharge from the Armed Forces.

It includes pilot programs that explore alternative treatment and therapy options, such as sports, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic care.

VA committed to connecting Veterans to mental health services

To mark the anniversary of signing the Hannon Act into law, VA honors Veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving others. There are many more elements to the Hannon Act that will help improve access to mental health and suicide prevention services at VA facilities and the community.

The efforts of the Hannon Act further expand VA’s public health approach, which focuses both on clinical interventions and community-based prevention strategies to reach all Veterans.

If you are a Veteran – or a Caregiver – VA is committed to connecting you with the mental health and wellness services and support you need. VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options and more at

By Matthew Miller is the director of VA’s Suicide Prevention Program at the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

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Published on Oct. 19, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.6 min.

Views to date: 605


  1. Ronald Bower October 23, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    VA now refuses to treat me because of my mental issues aquired from Brain Trauma that occurred in the service and for which I am 100%. They no longer provide pain meds for the chronic pain I have from back, hip, knee and ankle injuries sustained while in the service.

    • Andrea Brooks November 3, 2021 at 8:11 am

      Similar situation here. In all the years I have been with the VA, they prove 9 out of 10 times that we don’t matter. I’ve waited months to see providers and never have pain level addressed.

  2. Joseph P. Brown October 22, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Moved from one VA (Ann Arbor, MI) back to Fayetteville, NC; had been in the system for almost 16 yrs; was told I could not just get a mental health appointment. I was told I would have to ‘walk-in’ and be evaluated as if I were a new patient. Total Bull-sht. I refused so I am getting zero mental heath care. VA = welfare medicine!

    • Andrea Brooks November 3, 2021 at 8:16 am

      Recently experienced the exact same thing between WI and NC. I had to start from scratch and they had zero access to previous VAMC records. Ended up getting mental health care a year later back in WI when I checked myself into Inpatient. They don’t care. Had better care on active duty.

  3. DEAN TABER October 22, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Terrible service to us vets.It’s taking close to three months to see a provider in for first time in Tucson? Just moved here, called the VA back in early AUGUST.

  4. W B Woodard October 21, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Can you help me get the mental health help I have requested. I have asked for a mental health professional outside the network because none of the in network providers are qualified for my particular needs. I am a 100% P&T.

    • Bryan October 22, 2021 at 1:40 am

      Not sure where you are but it took 9 months to get a provider re-credentialed.

  5. Robert Woelk October 20, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Can you please let us know when the Commander Hannon Act will begin receiving applications for these grants??

Comments are closed.

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