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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 4, 2013

Sen. Brian Crain
Sen. Brian Crain

Senate approves bill creating PTSD and TBI pilot programs for care providers

The full Senate has given approval to a bill aimed at improving care for Oklahoma National Guardsmen struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Sen. Brian Crain is principal author of Senate Bill 527 which was approved by the Senate on Monday 44 to 0.

Crain said the programs would be administered by the University of Oklahoma and would be geared to assist the spouses, parents and other friends and family members who are acting as caregivers for returning troops.

“We know that we are seeing dramatically higher numbers of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with TBI—much more than in past conflicts,” said Crain, R-Tulsa. “More of our troops are also dealing with PTSD, making it much more difficult for them as they attempt to resume their lives here at home.”

Symptoms of TBI 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.

PTSD 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.

“With each of these conditions, it may appear as though the individual is healthy, when in fact, they are dealing with multiple symptoms that can be debilitating,” Crain said. “These pilot programs will help give their caregivers access to the latest information about these conditions, what triggers or symptoms they should be aware of, and how they can best help their loved ones.”

SB 527 will now move to the House for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Crain: (405) 521-5620

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