Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act

The Act was signed into law last month.

Among other things, the new legislation calls on the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement programs and policies related to transition assistance, suicide care, mental health education and treatment. More specifically, it requires the VA to establish a task force to investigate the benefits of outdoor recreation therapy for veterans.

While I’m cautiously optimistic, the establishment of a taskforce is not the same thing as overturning the obsessive focus on ‘evidence based outcomes’ that permeates not only the VA but almost all of the literature on veterans’ mental health. Perhaps this heralds a chink in the very narrow view of what veteran ‘mental health’ is and allows a more holistic view of what it means to be psychologically whole.

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