Mental Health Services For Veterans Would Be Just A Call Away Under A Measure Moving Through The Florida Legislature


A invoice to assist veterans tackle their psychological well being wants has only one hurdle left to clear in each chambers earlier than reaching a ground dialogue. The measure would create a one-stop quantity the place veterans can get all the pieces from peer-to-peer help to service referrals.

For veterans, psychological well being struggles aren’t uncommon. Officers say between 12 and 20 p.c of the veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have been recognized with Put up Traumatic Stress Dysfunction.

“We now have over 1.5 million veterans within the state of Florida, and one of many main issues that veterans have once they come again from their service to our nation, in very tough conditions, lots of them face psychological well being and substance abuse issues,” says Sen. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart). “And its very tough to combine again into their communities.”

Harell says transitioning from lively obligation to civilian life is difficult and at instances veterans flip to self-medication via medicine or alcohol as a technique to cope. A report from Senate Employees says greater than 20 p.c of veterans recognized with PTSD even have a substance abuse dysfunction. And Harell says considerations surrounding COVID-19 have exacerbated these issues by including stressors and making it more durable to get assist.

“Not solely have they got the challenges from PTSD regularly, reintegrating again into our communities, however at present, with COVID, the isolation that individuals really feel and the added difficulties makes it much more tough for them,” Harrell says.

Harrell needs to make getting assist so simple as choosing up the telephone. She’s sponsoring a invoice that extends a program statewide to let veterans dial a devoted line staffed by their friends who’re skilled to supply help and hyperlinks to companies. Harrell says it’s a confirmed program.

“It will increase the variety of veterans who use community-based companies, so it places them involved with these group primarily based companies. And it additionally, importantly, hyperlinks them with VA companies that we already pay for via out federal taxes. It helps them get within the scenario. And these referral companies present one thing that’s completely key—and that’s peer-to-peer help for disaster intervention in addition to for referral,” Harrell says.

Harrell’s plan would increase a pilot program that’s been in place on the Disaster Middle of Tampa Bay since about 2014. It piggy backs on the 2-1-1 program that’s already in place throughout the state. It offers help and hyperlinks to companies for anybody who’s struggling.

Sen. Tom Wright (R-Port Orange) says he’s glad to see the veteran portion of that go state-wide as nicely.

“The extra that I’m concerned in laws, the extra that I understand we’ve a whole lot of nice applications for veterans, however we aren’t excellent at letting them know what they’re. And if we are able to simply get them perceive 2-1-1,” Wright says.


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