On Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day, our Nation renews its commitment to assist and care for all those affected by PTSD.  As a Nation, we must ensure those suffering from PTSD have access to the resources and support they need to fully engage with their families and participate in their communities.

Many people suffer from PTSD in silence, as they endure a wide variety of symptoms.  These can include flashbacks of traumatic incidents, crippling anxiety, overexpression of stress hormones, sleep deprivation, and impaired ability to communicate or relate with others.  PTSD is a life-threatening condition that can be debilitating to families and relationships, and it affects the ability to fulfill the normal demands of everyday life.  This is just one reason why my Administration has made mental health and wellness a top priority, working to ensure that those with mental health conditions have access to evidence-based treatment and services.

Tragically, many of our veterans suffer from PTSD.  Addressing this problem starts with improving treatment.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly half of these service members returning from combat with a PTSD diagnosis do not receive mental health treatment.  To help address this issue, in January, I signed an Executive Order to enhance mental health services for recently discharged veterans and to help ensure that those suffering from PTSD will have the resources they need when they return home from battle.  I also recently signed into law the VA Mission Act, which will improve veterans’ access to quality care by making it easier for them to be treated by the doctors of their choice.

Today, my Administration pledges to continue fighting the stigma associated with mental health.  Through enhanced research, greater access to evidence-based treatments, and continued love and support, we can improve the lives of those suffering from PTSD.