Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2013
Sen. Brian Crain
Senate bill would provide caregiver training for vets with
PTSD and TBI
The full Senate is the next stop for a bill creating
two pilot programs to help Oklahoma National Guardsmen returning
from duty with either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic
Brain Injury (TBI). Sen. Brian
Crain, Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee won
passage for Senate Bill 527 in Senate Appropriations on Wednesday.
He said the University of Oklahoma would administer the programs.
The National Center for PTSD reports victims may relive traumatic
events, or avoid situations that remind them of the event. They
may suffer from depression or anxiety and have problems with employment,
relationships or substance abuse.
“We have some heroes in the National Guard who are having
a difficult time after surviving the horrors of war. In the past
PTSD was referred to as battle fatigue, and soldiers didn’t
really get the help they needed,” said Crain, R-Tulsa. “Now
we understand much more about this condition, and we want to make
sure that guard members returning to our state with PTSD as well
as those who have suffered TBI get the best care possible.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the conflicts in
Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in increased numbers of veterans
with TBI, with 22 percent of all combat casualties from these conflicts
suffering from brain injuries, compared to 12 percent of Vietnam
related combat casualties. Symptoms can include headaches, tinnitus,
insomnia, memory and concentration difficulties and emotional/behavioral
problems, including irritability, depression, anxiety and behavioral
issues. Patients with TBI are also at increased risk for PTSD.
“When you start talking about the injuries that are being
inflicted, these aren’t missile attacks, these are roadside
bombs intended to destroy a hummer or kill small groups of people,
and the result is higher numbers of TBI cases,” Crain said.
“We need more caregivers who are trained to deal with TBI,
and that’s what this bill will help us do."
For more information contact:
Sen. Crain: (405) 521-5620