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American War Veterans Not Receiving Enough Care For PTSD

Researchers from Columbia University and other institutions claim to have found that nearly 19% of Vietnam War veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to a direct// result of war.

Now lawmakers, advocates have raised questions about whether returning troops would get the proper treatment necessary. Their fears see to increase as more veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, now mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It has been reported that so far, 63,767 veterans have gone to VA offices with possible mental health problems, and 29,041 have received an initial diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Though the officials at VA claim that they do have enough staff members and resources for treatment, critics say that the VA is struggling to provide adequate support and help. The VA on the other hand had submitted a report to the Congress in February in which they stated that there was a considerable drop, of nearly 20% in the number of visits with PTSD specialists per veteran from 1995 to 2005. The reports stated that, “We are concerned that this reflects a decrease in capacity at a time when VA needs to reach out" to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Antonette Zeiss, the deputy chief of mental health services in the department, while stating that the February report is being updated to reflect improvements, said, “We have resources to provide very good care to veterans across the country.” Ms. Zeiss further stated that the new veterans represent a small portion of the VA's health-care caseload, and explained that the current figures have indicated that the total number of veterans from all eras treated by the VA for PTSD had jumped 30% from 2003 to 2005. She also said that the VA has expanded its programme with an aim of helping the veterans who were returning with the disorder. The officials at VA explained to have recently completed one of the largest clinical trial ever of
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