WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today the Wounded Warrior Project today releases its annual report on veterans mental health and suicide. The report includes a five-year study of the issues contributing to service members’ taking their own lives.
Veteran Florentino Carter used to conduct combat operations overseas.
He says dodging explosive devices left his team wounded deeper than the eye could see.
“My physical injury the VA took care right away. But the other injuries that are not physical are what we have to get more attention to,” Carter says.
A new report says mental health remains a major battle for those who served.
Melani Mousseau is with the Wounded Warrior Project says, “Each of the statistics represent an individual that is being impacted by a various issue of concern.”
78-percent of the 33,000 veterans surveyed say they experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Dr Keita Franklin with the Department of Veterans Affairs says that data can help guide the agencies suicide prevention efforts, “To make sure we are organizing the right programs and putting the right resources in place for long term health and wellness of veterans.”
Earlier this year, the Trump administration signed an executive order directing the Defense Department, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs to remove barriers and improve access to mental health care for veterans.
Dr. Franklin says, “We are pushing out with broad based telemental health capabilities and same day access to care. And also making sure veterans know they can get help through any of our vet centers nationwide.
Officials hope the survey will raise awareness about the issues veterans face and will lead to positive changes that will help save the lives of American heroes.
Brie Jackson reports for FOX16’s D.C. Bureau.