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Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Concerned by Stigma of PTSD and Mental Illness in Military
Date:4/9/2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to recently released information, Wounded Warrior Project again cited their grave concerns with the manner in which mental health and PTSD are perceived and dealt with within the military. One specific article on Salon.com highlighted concerns that military doctors are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD in returning military personnel and specifically brought to light such a situation in Fort Carson, Colorado.

"Unfortunately there is a major cultural stigma within the military against PTSD or seeking mental health care treatment," said Steve Nardizzi, WWP CEO. "These types of situations and reports reinforce the institutional barriers to seeking mental health care and serve as a deterrent to the warrior from seeking vitally needed care."

According to recently released military data, U.S. Army suicides outnumbered all combat deaths in January of this year. 2008 was also the fourth year in a row in which suicides among soldiers rose.

"Post traumatic stress disorder is very serious," said Nardizzi. "We call on the military to prioritize the reduction of this stigma against seeking care and to foster unfettered access to mental health services, regardless of cost."

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result following a traumatic event and is quite prevalent among combat veterans. PTSD can manifest itself in numerous ways, including upsetting memories of the event, flashbacks, nightmares and intense physical reactions to reminders of the traumatic events. Warriors may experience a pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension and sweating. WWP urges any warrior in an emergency to get help immediately by calling 911. For those not facing an emergency situation, WWP offers services to help work through other readjustment issues.

Wounded Warrior Project's Project Odyssey brings together veterans with combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder and gets them involved in outdoor activities that offer healthy support in the healing process. The ultimate goal is for each participant to return home with a range of coping skills to help them move forward in their recovery process. Private and group sessions with trained therapists are an integral part of the Project Odyssey experience.

About Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. For more information, please call 877 TEAM WWP (832-6997) or visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.


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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project
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