Thursday, February 27, 2020
Treating PTS Is a Top Legislative Priority
ALBANY — Advocating for alternative therapies to treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury remains a top legislative priority for The American Legion Department of New York.
That message was conveyed to state legislators and senators during the Legion’s Legislative Hill Day, held Feb. 25. Leading the annual Hill Day were Department Commander Michael McDermott, Department Adjutant James Casey and Department Legislative Chair Dorothy Button.
Members of the Legion Family from around the state met with members of the state legislature during an American Legion legislative breakfast, held at the Desmond Hotel and Conference. Then Legion members followed up with visits to legislative offices near the State Capitol.
“The devastating impact of Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury demand a dedicated and comprehensive study to delineate viable treatments such as animal therapy, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, peer-to-peer support programs and other courses of action, including medical marijuana, that have demonstrated beneficial results,” Department Legislative Chair Dorothy Button noted. She then pointed to the RTM protocol, or the Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories, as having “a proven track record and The American Legion Department of New York strongly urges the State Legislature to approve and fund this work.”
She added: “(W)e ask that state agencies be directed to undertake such studies as necessary and make public the results.”
Button also listed as top priorities two related issues – preventing suicides and treating war trauma.
Citing an “epidemic” of veteran suicides, “still averaging more than 20 a day nationwide,” she called on the state legislature and state agencies to provide greater awareness and to keep funding programs and groups that reach out to men and women in uniform, veterans and their families.
She also urged the governor and legislature to identify and purse alternative treatments to assist war-time veterans dealing with the trauma of war. The Legion also calls upon the legislature “to provide to Congress a ‘Memorial Resolution’ urging establishment and implementation of alternative treatments for PTS and TBI and to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides such treatment to afflicted veterans and military personnel.”