Legislation Considered To Support Counseling For Military Veterans

Oct 21, 2013

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs is supporting legislation that would enable people who have a master’s degree in a behavioral science to become certified alcohol and drug counselors.

Dr. Patrick McKiernan is the KDVA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach Coordinator and says many veterans need those services and there’s a statewide shortage of counselors.

“This bill is important because we are approaching a time where everyone is going to have the ability to seek help through an insurance policy. However, if we do not have license-level individuals providing these services, there won’t be any alcohol and drug counseling available to our veterans or their family members.” –Patrick McKiernan

McKiernan testified before the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations. The bill, which has twice passed the House, is sponsored by Democratic State Representative Joni Jenkins of Jefferson County.