The U.S. military must tell veterans the truth: Spirituality can help significantly with PTSD
The Dallas Morning News
December 28, 2018
In one study, only one third of veterans with a new diagnosis of PTSD received treatment through the VA, and less than 10 percent were properly treated, per VA guidelines. Notably missing from these guidelines is any mention of spirituality.
We are 17 years into the war on terrorism. During that time, hundreds of thousands of our American brothers and sisters have faced the horrors of war. Many are in desperate need of spiritual healing.
Their despair is deep. Too often, it is fatal. The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that, on average, 20 vets take their own lives each day.
Veterans' advocate Richard Glickstein notes that, over the past 15 years, the federal government has instituted 1,100 suicide-prevention programs for our servicemen and women. Yet the suicide rate has remained unchanged.
The recent film Surrender Only to One frankly portrays the rigors of combat and how they can affect the mind, body and spirit. Only those who have been in combat can truly know the weight a warrior carries on each mission. But all of us can at least imagine the stress of knowing that every single decision you make — or don't make — can wind up killing or maiming a comrade.
Too often that burden does lasting damage. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, can be just as deadly as an improvised explosive device and more difficult to manage than the chaos of a back-alley ambush.
It's something the producer of Surrender, Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, knows all too well. And Friedman is determined to do something about it.
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**While the above mentions how many VAs do not offer it, or even suggest it, many others do.**