Supporters

National Guard Association of the United States

One Mind for Research

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Brain Injury Association of America

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

Comfort for America's Uniformed Service

Code of Support Foundation

Army Wife Network

Yellow Ribbon Fund

United Children of Veterans

Operation Never Forgotten

National Center for Victims of Crime

Social Media

Vista

Resolution Template 

WHEREAS, all citizens of the United States possess the basic human right to the preservation of personal dignity;

WHEREAS, all citizens of the United States deserve the investment of every possible resource to ensure their lasting physical, mental, and emotional well-being;

WHEREAS, the diagnosis known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was initially formulated in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association to more accurately assess and assist veterans who had endured severe combat stress in Vietnam;

WHEREAS, combat stress is an invisible wound which has historically been unjustly portrayed as a mental illness caused by a preexisting flaw of character or ability, and that the word “disorder” carries a stigma which perpetuates this misconception;

WHEREAS, it has been shown though electro-magnetic imaging that these invisible wounds can cause physical changes to the brain which more accurately describe an injury than a disorder;

WHEREAS, referring to invisible wounds as a disorder can discourage the injured from seeking proper and timely medical treatment;

WHEREAS, referring to invisible wounds as post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is less stigmatizing and viewed as more honorable, and this designation can favorably influence those affected and encourage them to seek treatment without fear of retribution or shame;

WHEREAS, post-traumatic stress injury can occur following exposure to extremely traumatic events other than combat such as, but not exclusive to: interpersonal violence, life-threatening accidents and natural disasters;

WHEREAS, post-traumatic stress injury satisfying criteria A through H of the diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual deserves disability compensation equal to that allowed for PTSD under the law;

WHEREAS, all citizens suffering post-traumatic stress injuries deserve our compassion and consideration, those brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have received these wounds in operational action against an enemy of the United States further deserve our clear and obvious recognition; and

WHEREAS, timely and appropriate treatment of post-traumatic stress injury can diminish complications and avert suicides:

NOW, THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED that the (Senate/House/Assembly):

designates June 27th of each year is designated as (state) Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day;

designates June as (state) Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month;

More than 30 centuries ago, long before even the written word Homer talked about combat stress in his epic poems on the Trojan War. 

During the Civil War soldiers were removed from the front and considered for disability and pensions for Soldiers Heart or “nostalgia”, but in reality combat stress during that time was considered a form of insanity.

By 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, combat stress and its civilian counterpart, “railway spine” had actually risen to the position of being considered physical ailments that deserved medical treatment. 

By the summer of 1916, the brutal trench warfare on the Western Front had produced an epidemic of shell shock among French and British troops, and “nervenshock” among Germans troops which was draining the treasuries and manpower pools on both sides. To address this crisis, Kaiser Wilhelm directed the German Association of Psychiatry to convene a special War Congress.

 After briefly discussing the evidence, these leading psychiatrists of their day settled the debate by declaring –“Persistent distress or functional impairment following exposure to a traumatic stressor could only occur in individuals already afflicted with the pre-existing personality weakness that they termed hysteria”.

Subsequently, the German government was relieved of its responsibility to pay disability pensions to veterans sufferingfrom combat stress, while commanders in the field were no longer obligated to evacuate stress casualties from the front.

The term “hysteria” was never intended to be a neutral label. It was chosen to be intentionally stigmatizing, especially when applied to male service members who understood it to be a feminizing term. 

The French and English and later the Americans also adopted the doctrine. The term shell shock was dropped and there was a drastic reduction in the evacuation of stress casualties along with the responsibilities of paying compensation fees.  

As a result of these new tenets the rates of wartime psychiatric evacuations during the 20th century fell to approximately 10% in WWII, 3.7% in the Korean War and barely 1.2% in Vietnam.