(AP) DENVER The Senate gave initial backing Tuesday to a proposal that would pay for mental health counseling for the families of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.
The proposal (Senate Bill 146) would set up a three-year pilot program in Colorado Springs to provide mental health treatment and education to the families of veterans who cannot get services on their own.
The program would cost $300,000 a year, which would be taken from the state’s share of the national tobacco settlement. Families would pay up to $20 a month to participate.
Veterans are still eligible to receive mental health care through the military after they leave the service, but their families are not, said Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, the sponsor.
He said if spouses and children get counseling, veterans might be encouraged to do the same.