06.26.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Supports Resolution Designating June 2015 National PTSD Awareness Month

More than 1 in 4 Veterans from Conflicts in Iraq & Afghanistan Treated by the VA have been diagnosed with PTSD

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced the Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan resolution designating June 2015 as National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month and June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day.

“After two, decade-long wars, our veterans and their families are facing many difficult challenges including post-traumatic stress, as well as mental illnesses, addiction and physical injuries,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “The scars of combat are both seen and unseen. We must confront these problems, raise awareness of post-traumatic stress and provide our veterans and their families with the support they have earned and deserve.”  

Senator Baldwin cosponsored the bipartisan resolution to help raise awareness about the challenges that servicemembers, veterans, and other members of society with post-traumatic stress face, and reduce the stigma often associated with it. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nearly half of our nation’s veterans from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq treated by the VA have been diagnosed with at least one mental health condition, and more than 25 percent of these veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. The resolution designates June 2015 as National PTSD Awareness Month and Saturday, June 27, 2015 as National PTSD Awareness Day. This year’s resolution seeks to decrease the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress by emphasizing that it is a common injury, and is treatable and repairable. 

The resolution was introduced by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp and cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), James Inhofe (R-OK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), John Hoeven (R-ND), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Al Franken (D-MN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Susan Collins (R-ME).

Earlier this week, Senator Baldwin introduced the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, bipartisan VA reform legislation aimed at providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans. The bipartisan legislation would provide the VA with the tools it needs to address the problem of overprescribing practices, help strengthen patient advocacy, expand access to complementary and integrative health and wellness, and enhance VA hiring and internal audits.

Senator Baldwin was joined by the Simcakoski family, veterans service organizations and health care organizations at a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, DC. The press conference was held prior to Senator Baldwin’s appearance at the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, where the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act was considered. The bipartisan legislation has quickly gained support from over a dozen organizations and members of the Senate.