A bill that nearly passed this year, to have mental health service dogs recognized in the same way as other service dogs, has been filed again for 2016.
Representative Chrissy Sommer (R-St. Charles) proposes that dogs who assist people with mental health issues be treated the same as those who assist people with physical issues. Such dogs help people who suffer from things like seizures, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress syndrome, as veterans often face.
“Just seeing the veterans coming back I see different veterans that suffer from injuries such as brain injuries, PTSD, and just trying to help them as well as other individuals,” said Sommer.
Such dogs are already recognized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Federal Aviation Administration. No one testified against it in a House committee.
The bill passed out of the House and was ready for the Senate Floor when this year’s session ended.
“Sometimes you just run out of time even though it was a great idea,” said Sommer.
The bill has the backing of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.
Her bill is HB 1428.