Post Traumatic Stress, often referred to as a disorder, is rather better understood as an injury affecting millions of Americans who experience a traumatic event, particularly those serving in combat. A resolution sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban on March 18 honors those struggling with the condition and recognizes PTSI as an illness worthy of treatment. Use of the term disorder, unnecessarily stigmatizes those experiencing the condition.
Sen. O’Ban, R-Pierce County, offers the following statement in support of Senate Resolution 8625:
“We’ve come a long way in better understanding the impact of war, and other extreme trauma, on the human psyche. Humans were not designed to witness the brutality of battle and other extreme forms of human tragedy. This resolution helps clarify that Post Traumatic Stress causes injury to the mind and body that anyone subjected to such extreme stress would experience. It is simply human to sustain such injuries.
“But this resolution is about much more. It is a reminder of the debt we owe to members of our military, who willingly place themselves in harm’s way for our defense.
“We honor their sacrifice and heroism, and the sacrifice of their families. They volunteered during a time of war, left the homeland and their loved ones, and fought in faraway places most of us have never heard of.
“They are the best of us.
“We also take this moment to honor those who have dedicated their lives to pay back, in part, the great debt our nation owes our military, by offering excellent mental health care to veterans and their families. Our state Dept. of Veterans Affairs is providing great care across the state.
“And I am pleased to recognize a new mental health provider that has come to Washington and the South Sound to provide excellent mental health care, Cohen Veterans Network.
“Cohen is a non-profit offering high quality mental health care to veterans and their families. Cohen is opening its 11th clinic, the first in our state, this Friday. The Lakewood clinic will serve up to 1,000 veterans and their family members each year, regardless of ability to pay or discharge status.
“We are a better people in Washington State because of the strong military and veteran presence. And we are a better people when we recognize their sacrifice, honor it, and look for ways, as this Legislature has done in a myriad of ways, to give back to them.”