Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/387

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PUBLIC LAW 102-585—NOV. 4, 1992 106 STAT. 4945 SEC. 102. SEXUAL TRAUMA COUNSELING. (a) IN GENERAL.— (1) Chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of subchapter II the following new section:

    • § 1720D. Counseling to women veterans for sexual trauma

"(a)(l) During the period through December 31, 1995, the Secretary may provide counseling to a woman veteran who the Secretary determines requires such counseling to overcome psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the veteran was serving on active duty. "(2) To be eligible to receive counseling under this subsection, a veteran must seek such counseling from the Secretary within two years after the date of the veteran's discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service. "(3) In furnishing counseling to a veteran under this subsection, the Secretary may, during the period through December 31, 1994, provide such counseling pursueuit to a contract with a qualified mental health professional if (A) in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, the receipt of counseling by that veteran in facilities of the Department would be clinically inadvisable, or (B) Department facilities are not capable of furnishing such counseling to that veteran economically because of geographical inaccessibility. "(b) In providing services to a veteran under subsection (a), the period for which coimseling is provided may not exceed one year from the date of the commencement of the furnishing of such counseling to the veteran. However, the Secretary may authorize a longer period in any case if, in the judgment of the Secretary, a longer period of counseling is required. "(c)(l) The Secretary shall give priority to the establishment and operation of the program to provide counseling under subsection (a). In the case of a veteran eligible for such counseling who requires other care or services under this chapter for trauma described in subsection (a)(D, the Secretary shall ensure that the veteran is furnished counseling under this section in a way that is coordinated with the fiunishing of such other care and services under this chapter. "(2) In establishing a program to provide counseling under subsection (a), the Secretary shall— "(A) provide for appropriate training of mental health professionals and such other health care personnel as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the program effectively; "(B) seek to ensure that such counseling is furnished in a setting that is therapeutically appropriate, taking into account the circumstances that resulted in the need for such counseling; and "(C) provide referral services to assist women veterans who are not eligible for services under this chapter to obtain those from sources outside the Department. "(d) The Secretary shall provide mformation on the counseling Public available to women veterans under this section. Efforts by the ^formation. Secretary to provide such information—