Catherine Cortez Masto Wants a Plan to Get Vets Outdoors
For veterans, outdoor therapy could become law. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced bipartisan legislation on Wednesday to create an intergovernmental task force to identify opportunities to expand access and usage of public lands for outdoor therapy and rehabilitation treatments. The Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act, which she introduced with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), would task five Cabinet Secretaries as well as the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with the policy recommendations to execute the plan that would help get vets outdoors. “For many veterans, getting outdoors with friends and family is a crucial part of their return to civilian life,” said Cortez Masto. “Studies have shown that outdoor recreation has a positive impact on overall physical health, mental wellbeing and recovery outcomes, especially for our veteran populations who often turn to the outdoors to heal from trauma.” The VA will spend nearly $8.6 billion on mental-health services this year for its seven million patients. Studies show that outdoor-recreation therapy is effective at decreasing the symptoms of PTSD and helping veterans reintegrate with civilian life. Outdoor recreation would likely prove less expensive than medication-based treatment.More here.