U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) and Scott Peters (CA-52) today introduced a bipartisan bill to reduce the stigma that prevents veterans and servicemembers from seeking mental health care. The bill designates June as National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) Awareness month and June 27th as National PTSI Awareness Day.
“Rarely does a day go by when I don’t talk to a veteran who is struggling with their own self-worth,” Rep. 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.”
“Battle scars aren’t just physical–that truth is tragically underlined by the twenty American veterans who die by suicide every day,” Rep. Peters said. The stigma associated with accessing mental health treatment can discourage some veterans from seeking help at all. That’s why we need a bold statement that veterans can and should seek mental health care services just as they would seek care for a physical injury. I want to thank Rep. Mast for his service—both in Congress and in the Army—and for joining me to help end the stigma of mental health.”