March 16, 2012
Thank you for reading the Carson Courier. For additional information, please visit our website at http://www.carson.house.gov.
In this week’s Carson Courier:
· Working with Defense Secretary Panetta to Address Mental Health Issues
· Supporting Federal Aid for Indiana Communities Struggling to Recover from Tornado Damage
· Raising Awareness for Homelessness
Working with Defense Secretary Panetta to Address Mental Health Issues
This week, I reached out to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting the expedited implementation of portions of my Service Members Mental Health Screening Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama at the end of last year.
Under the previous law, screenings from past deployments were not shared between units, preventing a complete understanding of the mental health challenges facing deployed service members. My bill requires more comprehensive analysis of pre- and post-deployment mental health assessments, giving military personnel additional tools to protect our service members. Without action from the Department of Defense, these changes may take months to implement.
While I recognize that these measures may not always detect impending tragedy, they could reduce the likelihood of these devastating events occurring. The recent killing of sixteen Afghani civilians by a lone American soldier demonstrates the need for implementing these measures as soon as possible.
Rest assured, I fully recognize that those diagnosed with and treated for mental health issues continue to serve and perform at the highest level. On the other hand, others serving in the Armed Forces can be a danger to themselves, their fellow service members, and innocent civilians. Implementation of this sorely needed legislation will go a long way towards identifying individuals who should be withheld from redeployment for additional care and observation. While significant progress has been made, more needs to be done to ensure these men and women do not pose a risk to themselves and others.
Supporting Federal Aid for Indiana Communities Struggling to Recover from Tornado Damage
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by these devastating tornadoes and storms. The federal assistance provided by the President’s declaration will be instrumental in helping our neighbors in Southern Indiana rebuild.
You can read the full text of the letter here.
Raising Awareness for Homelessness
I had the privilege of visiting two of our local homeless service providers this week, meeting with the families served by these incredible organizations and the staff and volunteers who work each day to improve their quality of life. Indiana homeless providers, such as the Dayspring Center and Horizon House, served more than 6,000 homeless Hoosiers last year. In seemingly hopeless situations, these two organizations uplift and empower all those who walk through their doors.
The Dayspring Center is one of only a few providers in Marion County that addresses the needs of the entire family. Dayspring accommodates 14 families each night and 150 each year. Visit them here.
The Horizon House, a multi-service day center, opens its doors to the 1,500 homeless individuals in Indianapolis each day. In 2011, Horizon House helped 2,692 individuals with basic hygiene and food services, in addition to longer term assistance with affordable housing, employment training and case management. Learn more about Horizon House here.
Thank you for reading the Carson Courier. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. For more information, visit my website at http://www.carson.house.gov, my Congressional Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CongressmanAndreCarsonand follow me on Twitter @RepAndreCarson. I value your views and your input, which help me better represent the people of Indiana’s 7th District.
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