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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 13,113
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

Combat PTSD.

You've seen those words before, on news tickers, in Hollywood films, on trending tabs, even on the covers of scientific journals. You've been seeing those words for years now, haven't you?

What you may not have seen, or heard, is that Combat PTSD is the leading contributor to a staggering number: twenty-two. Twenty-two. According to a study conducted by Veterans Affairs in 2013, twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide every day.

Since the 2013 study, no study has found the suicide rate to be declining. Which means that we aren't doing a good enough job for our veterans. To combat this trend, the VA needs to change and improve. Quite simply, the programs currently offered by the VA-- including medication, psychotherapy and group therapy-- are not what every veteran currently needs. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all model to treat Combat PTSD.

Combat PTSD is both a psychological and physiological condition. The stress put on the sufferer's brain actually changes its physical landscape, including a 5-10% decrease in gray matter, the part of the brain responsible for relaying neurological messages to and from the body. Also affected are the hippocampus (short-term memory) and the prefrontal cortex (emotional response).

What if there were ways to not only repair what has been lost, but ways that our veterans could find peace? What if, instead of a telephone hotline and a refillable orange bottle, there were programs that granted them access to garden spaces, and to the arts, and to exercise therapy like yoga or running? What if there was a way to save veterans' lives?

Sign the petition below to tell Secretary of Veteran Affairs to explore other options to treat Combat PTSD.

Sign Here

Dear Secretary of Veteran Affairs,

According to a study conducted by Veterans Affairs in 2013, twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide every day. Twenty-two. Considering that there are now more programs for suffering veterans than there ever have been, it's hard to believe that Combat PTSD is still the leading factor that drives veterans to suicide. Together, we need to make a change. We should start with where the most veterans go for help: the VA.

The problem is not that the VA doesn't offer help; the problem is that the programs currently offered by the VA are not what every veteran needs. The VA's programs that address Combat PTSD – including medication, psychotherapy and group therapy– may work for some returning service members. For others, though, the current model just doesn't work.

Some veterans instead need something like Yoga Warriors International, who has had success in 'retraining the fight-or-flight response' so that when confronting a situation that triggers their memories, they’re able to remain calm.

Others may need the physical act of running, which a study done at Cambridge University reported to grow gray matter, a crucial part of the brain that can sometimes decrease with the onset of Combat PTSD.

Some veterans may need the catharsis that can come from writing, painting, or playing a piece of music. Others may need something like Veterans Healing Farm, where veterans escape the noisy world and are allowed to put their hands in the soil they fought so hard to defend.

Having the VA act as a bridge to these programs would be beneficial, but think about if the VA offered these programs. Veterans could be excited to go to the VA. Veterans could excited to go to therapy. Peace could be found. Pride could be restored. Progress toward having that 'twenty-two' become “zero” could be jumpstarted by the VA’s efforts to revitalize the offered programs to treat Combat PTSD.

Thank you.


Petition Signatures

Feb 24, 2017 Mary Beaver
Feb 23, 2017 Diane M McCoy
Feb 21, 2017 Matt Hoyt
Feb 21, 2017 karen themelis
Feb 21, 2017 Ann Keefer I worked with veterans at the American Lake PTSD Treatment program from 1989-1992, and I am heartbroken to think that things have NOT improved for veterans since those days. Our vets DESERVE better. 22 a day? Even ONE per day is one too many.
Feb 19, 2017 kim wilbur
Feb 19, 2017 (Name not displayed) I Have PTSD With No Help
Feb 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 19, 2017 Emmanuel Xerias
Feb 17, 2017 Elissa Wilson 22 Veterans a day committing suicide every day is 22 too many!!! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Get these heroes the help they deserve for what they've done for their country.
Feb 17, 2017 Anthony Fritz
Feb 17, 2017 Gloria Bryant Any ONE of these vets with PTSD is worth MORE to our nation than the majority of members of Congress who continually vote AGAINST programs to help the same people they decide to send to WAR! Disgusting!
Feb 17, 2017 Ed Piontek
Feb 17, 2017 Virginia Welch The military are the backbone of this country. Without them we are lost as a nation. Please help them.
Feb 17, 2017 michalla sutton
Feb 16, 2017 Mary Towers
Feb 16, 2017 Cathy Ziegler Even one suicide a day is too many, but 22 a day !?!!?
Feb 15, 2017 Suzanne Eckhardt
Feb 15, 2017 Kay Lee
Feb 15, 2017 TONI King
Feb 13, 2017 Christopher Day
Feb 13, 2017 Lucy Peden
Feb 13, 2017 Angela Gugel Yes there is always more than one way to treat or fix something! And our veterans should be entitled to free health care from the VA or the government! They don't deserve to be getting treated the way they are by the VA and the government!
Feb 12, 2017 Libby+Esther Berman
Feb 8, 2017 Susan Roarke
Feb 8, 2017 Karl Zimmerman
Feb 8, 2017 Anna Winroope
Feb 7, 2017 Andie Miller
Feb 7, 2017 Beverly Folkes
Feb 7, 2017 Becky Toney
Feb 6, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 6, 2017 Jean Buchanan
Feb 6, 2017 Kae De Ville
Feb 6, 2017 Felipe Menossi
Feb 6, 2017 Colleen Regan
Feb 5, 2017 dorthea martin
Feb 5, 2017 Tim Sunlake
Feb 5, 2017 Stephanie Simmons
Feb 5, 2017 Tom Sunlake
Feb 5, 2017 Carol Gray
Feb 5, 2017 Amanda Barnes
Feb 5, 2017 Patricia Evers I know lots of people with PTSD. The hotline is nice because someone is always there, but I agree there should be more things like support groups (physical & conference or call, or 1 on 1) and also outing events like horseback, carnivals, beach fires.
Feb 5, 2017 Rose Modiano
Feb 5, 2017 (Name not displayed) I work for the VA & we need more Therapy Dog Programs. Please stress this area of need!
Feb 5, 2017 Leslie Kiwacz
Feb 5, 2017 STACEY O'BRIEN
Feb 4, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 4, 2017 Louise Almarode PLEASE help our vets! Better lives for them, less homelessness after. My boyfriend spent two years in Long Beach V A after Vietnam. Finally got the help he needed the last three months there!
Feb 4, 2017 Barbara Lamberta

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