Two members of the Florida delegation–Republican U.S. Reps. Brian Mast and Michael Waltz–are backing a proposal from U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., which would make June as National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) Awareness month and have National PTSI Awareness Day on June 27.
Mast is the main Republican sponsor of the bill and he weighed in on the proposal on Tuesday.
“Rarely does a day go by when I don’t talk to a veteran who is struggling with their own self-worth,” Mast said. “While the physical wounds may heal, the mental toll of war follows many servicemembers home. Removing the stigma around mental health is critical to making sure our brothers and sisters in arms feel safe seeking help in their fight against post-traumatic stress.”
“Ask a servicemember about their injuries, and they will likely show you the visible scars sustained from their service. What they are more reluctant to share are mental scars – the less visible but equally as harmful injuries,” Peters said. “When 20 of our nation’s heroes die from suicide each day, it’s evident we must break the stigma associated with accessing mental health treatment and embolden our veterans to seek help when they need it.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Armed Services and the Veterans Affairs Committees.
Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., are championing a companion proposal.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.