For Veterans with PTSD, Patrick Murphy Urges Doctors to "Give an Hour"
8th District Congressman Promotes Program That Seeks to Give Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan the Treatment They Deserve and Help They Need
Over 18 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan - some 300,000 troops - have returned home with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression. On Monday, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) hosted a roundtable discussion aimed at raising awareness for veterans suffering from PTSD. Rep. Murphy brought together Iraq war veterans, military families, local psychologists and psychiatrists and veterans advocates to help returning soldiers readjust to civilian life. Specifically, the group talked about the "Give an Hour" program, which pairs veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health experts, who volunteer to help treat PTSD. The mental and physical stresses of war often lead to PTSD but unfortunately, too often it goes undiagnosed. Even when diagnosed, many times veterans do not have access to the appropriate care. It is important for returning veterans to get the treatment they deserve. Through the "Give an Hour" program, mental health professionals give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families.
"With a new generation of veterans returning home from war, it is our duty to make sure they get the treatment they have earned," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "We owe veterans and their families a huge debt of gratitude, we also owe them better access to health care. I encourage members of the medical community to join this effort and give an hour of their time every week for our brave veterans."
Members of the panel discussed the problems returning veterans face as they try to get treatment for PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury, the two signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the prevalence of these injuries, they often go undiagnosed for various reasons, including lack of access to treatment and the negative stigma of a soldier with mental illness. Monday's discussion focused on ways the community could ensure that veterans and their families receive the care they need.
About the "Give an Hour" Program
The mission of the "Give an Hour" program is to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Their first target population is the U.S. troops and families who are being affected by the current military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Give an Hour is asking mental health professionals nationwide to literally give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families. Research will guide the development of additional services needed by the military community, and appropriate networks will be created to respond to those needs. Individuals who receive services will be given the opportunity to give an hour back in their own community.