Veterans deserve more supportive mental health care

At the 11th hour on the 11th day on November 1918, the guns fell silent in Europe, marking the end of the Great War, later to become known as World War I. Congress in 1954 passed a bill, signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, that made Nov. 11 a national holiday, Veterans Day.

It is crucial that residents in Southern Southeast remember and honor our veterans each year. The day is a reminder to express gratitude toward those who selflessly served their country and safeguarded the freedom and security we enjoy.

By actively recognizing and honoring veterans, we demonstrate our appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions, fostering a sense of unity and gratitude within the community. Additionally, acknowledging and commemorating the efforts of veterans can help raise awareness about the challenges they may face after returning home, such as physical and mental health issues.

One concrete way to support our veterans is by advocating for funding and policies that advance better access to mental health treatment facilities and providers.

During the time that I have served as state representative for District 1, I have and will continue to advocate and vote in support of legislation that supports our veterans. The mental health well-being of veterans is a critical aspect that often gets overlooked. Many veterans struggle with the invisible wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

By ensuring adequate funding and support for mental health services, we can help create an environment where veterans can seek the care they need without unnecessary barriers. This can include increasing the number of mental health treatment facilities, improving outreach programs and supporting campaigns that reduce the stigma associated with seeking help. By actively supporting these initiatives, we can help enhance the overall quality of life for veterans and their families and build a community that values their well-being.

On Veterans Day every year, let’s remember our veterans and take concrete steps to support their mental health by promoting better access to treatment facilities and providers. And let’s always take the time to show our veterans our respect and gratitude for their selfless service.

-- Rep. Dan Ortiz



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