Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Congressman Teague to Unveil Military PTSD Bill in Las Cruces Today
Congressman Harry Teague will today unveil his bill to address an increasingly prevalent issue for military personnel and combat veterans, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Congressman Teague’s legislation calls for mandatory mental health screening for military personnel upon induction into the military, before and after deployment, and before discharge. Teague will announce the legislation at 11:00 AM today, May 27, at Veterans’ Memorial Park at 2651 Roadrunner Parkway in Las Cruces with local officials he worked with as he drafted this legislation.
The legislation comes amid rising concerns that undiagnosed and untreated PTSD cases are leading to mental health issues that decrease quality of life for returning combat veterans and in some cases suicide. The Veterans Affairs National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder estimates that up to 20 percent of Iraq War Veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. Congressman Teague will name the legislation after an Iraq war veteran from Las Cruces who took his own life after struggling to receive a PTSD diagnosis and repeated efforts to receive proper treatment for PTSD. The veteran was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, which has had 14 deaths investigated as suicides in 2009.