WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) and Scott Peters (CA-52) today introduced legislation to bring attention to the thousands of veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). The resolution would officially recognize the month of June as Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month and June 27th as National PTSI Awareness Day. The bill is an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health that frequently prevents veterans and members of the military from seeking needed treatment.
“For many veterans who return home from battlefields, they often find themselves in another battle - a battle with their own mental health,” Rep. Mast said. “Time in service impacts nearly every veteran, and by recognizing that, we can begin to end the stigma around mental health treatment and ensure that our brothers and sisters in arms feel comfortable accessing the help they need. It’s not a battle anyone should have to fight alone.”
According to a 2017 study, 12.9 percent of veterans were diagnosed with a form of PTSI, which is almost twice the rate of the rest of the U.S. population. Depending on the conflict era, anywhere from 11 to 30 percent of veterans suffer from PTSI. Moreover, an average of 22 veterans, active duty, reserve members and guardsmen die by suicide each day.
There is hope, however, because 2019 data suggests that PTSI is highly treatable with a 70 to 80 percent recovery rate for individuals who complete an evidence-based course of treatment. That is why it’s essential that veterans are able to seek treatment and aren’t hindered by perception or stigma.
The text of the resolution can be found here.