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New Bill Aims to Provide Veterans with More PTSD Treatment

Charlie Cooper | KENS-TV

SAN ANTONIO - Texas lawmakers will soon consider a bill to make San Antonio a national leader in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research and treatment.

According to the Veterans Health Administration, PTSD tops the list of mental health diagnoses among veterans in Bexar County.

The University of Texas Health Science Center is doing some of the nation's largest studies related to PTSD. Now, a new bill put forth by State Representative Roland Gutierrez would broaden and expand the work done by creating what they're calling a National Center for Warrior Resiliency.

"To bring in wounded warriors for two- or three-week intensive treatment programs that get them the treatment they need," Gutierrez said.

A recent study done by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute found that available mental health services in Bexar County don't meet the high demand.

"There's a lack of providers that have had training in what we call evidence-based intervention," said Alan Peterson with the UT Health Science Center. "We're still lacking in science."

Creating the center would mean opportunities for state funding to do more research, provide treatment, and train civilian providers.

"A lot of individuals are seeking care either outside the military, outside the VA," Peterson said. "So we're going to be doing training of civilian providers to allow them to provide the best possible care to our veterans and their families."

Gutierrez said that right now, they're looking to have the bill co-sponsored within the state senate and hope to have it on the governor's desk by the end of the session.

Mental Health