Friday, October 26, 2007

November 13, Obama and Bond Expect Answers On PTSD

Obama, Bond Demand Pentagon Report on PTSD Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) sent the following letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, requesting a full accounting of service members’ psychological injuries, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), since October 2001. The senators also requested a detailed report on how the military monitors other psychological injuries. Recent media accounts indicate that the number of service members seeking care for PTSD from the Veterans Administration (VA) increased 70% over a 12-month period, or an increase of some 20,000 cases. In addition, reports of the total number of cases of PTSD treatment at the VA since 2001 – 50,000 cases – far exceed the number of wounded documented by the Pentagon.

In the letter, Obama and Bond request information including the total number of PTSD among active duty service members; the total number of other reported psychological injuries; the procedures and referral mechanisms for service members to seek counseling while in combat; the number of mental health staff deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; the number of mental health staff for each major mobilization and demobilization site; the incentives in place to attract additional behavioral health specialists; and the total annual expenditure on mental health care for active duty service members.
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