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Ptsd: Shortage Of Services For Vets

2234 words - 9 pages

PTSD is an anxiety disorder often found in soldiers who have experienced psychological trauma as a result of violent combat. 1 A traumatic event can include child abuse, a car crash military combat exposure and much more. How likely a person is to acquire PTSD depends on a number of things. It depends on the intensity of the trauma, how close one was to the event, how much one felt in control of the situation etc. Many military veterans come back suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the situations they have been exposed to. They have seen images that will stick with them forever such as friends and innocent victims dying gruesome deaths, and it is affecting them tremendously. After witnessing such events they feel scared, angry, and confused. The Global War on Terror (GWOT) has increased the quantity of veterans flocking to the Veterans Affair's system with health care needs. So far, there have been 1.4 million troops deployed from the time this war was declared.2 Of those 1.4 million, 36% are expected to look for mental health services within one year of returning from combat.3 Mental health issues such as PTSD are going to certainly have an impact on PTSD services offered by the VA, which many believe to be already stretched to the max. The government and the VA need to deal with this situation with the up most priority. The government and the Department of Veterans Affairs are incapable of providing enough mental health services for the escalating number of veterans who are in need, and in lieu of this dilemma, should consider referring some PTSD services to qualified outside sources.The enormous increase in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans seeking Veterans Affairs health services has left the government and the VA ill prepared to meet the new demands for its services, as they are still treating veterans from past wars. Since the start of the war, the number of veterans receiving care from the department has doubled, however, the vet staff has only increased its personnel by 10%.4 In 2004 it was stated by the Special Committee on PTSD, which is a department within the Department of Veterans Affairs, that the VA " does not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of new combat veterans while still providing veterans of past wars."5 So why don't they have sufficient capacity? If more veterans are seeking help, why has the department only increased its staff by 10%? The committee says that they simply do not have the resources, meaning money and qualified professionals.A newly proposed budget by President Obama pushed to increase funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs by 25 billion dollars over the next five years.6 This increase would certainly mean more money would be spent to support PTSD victims along with other mental health issues concerning military veterans. However, there was some controversy associated with this proposed increase. First off, increasing funding to this...

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