On Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day, we draw attention to the symptoms and warning signs of PTSD, while also vowing to help our fellow Americans who suffer from it obtain the support and treatment they need to live more productive and fulfilling lives.
Each year, an estimated 8 million adults experience PTSD. To help ensure these Americans are able to receive the care they need, my Administration prioritizes mental and behavioral health and increasing access to mental health treatment. Last year, I signed into law the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to make inpatient treatment and other evidence-based options more accessible to those suffering from mental illness. My Administration is also coordinating with health care practitioners across the country to provide training and education in the use of evidence-based treatments for PTSD.
Special consideration must also be paid to our Nation’s service members and veterans. Far too many of them bring the battlefield home with them, and we must ensure these courageous men and women have access to the resources and care they need to transition successfully back into civilian life. Earlier this year, I signed an Executive Order launching the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Initiative. This order established a joint task force charged with developing a comprehensive public health roadmap for improving quality of life for our veterans and empowering communities to create local and national networks to engage with all veterans. The PREVENTS Initiative will engage public and private stakeholders to better understand the causes of suicide and to help identify warning signs early so that veterans can receive the care they deserve.
Today, I encourage all Americans who have faced a traumatic or stressful event to take a moment to talk to their family, friends, neighbors, fellow service members, or health care providers about their experiences. By removing the stigma associated with mental health challenges, we will help ensure that more Americans receive the care they need.