November 11 is Veteran’s Day. As we honor those who have served our country in the armed forces, let us also remember an ongoing battle many veterans continue to fight: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
According to the Veteran’s Administration, since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.
According to the National Institutes of Health, PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a traumatic event Symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with relationships or work to be considered PTSD. Some people recover within 6 months, but in some people, the condition becomes chronic.
Chronic PTSD can lead to other health problems. The VA also reports that almost 1 out of every 3 Veterans seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder also has PTSD. The combination of substance abuse and PTSD contributes to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans figure that about 11% of the adult homeless population in our country are Veterans.
Veterans with PTSD need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing, nutritional meals, basic physical health care, substance abuse care, mental health counseling, personal development and empowerment. Additionally, veterans need job assessment, training and placement assistance. In honor of Veteran’s Day, you may want to contact your elected officials to discuss what is being done in our community for Veterans.