PTSD/SUBSTANCE ABUSE COMMITTEE REPORT
Coping With The Unknown
BY STEVE MASON, CHAIR
I once wrote, "A man goes to his war as he goes to his love -
from neither does he return as before. For war and love exist and
of the human experience and whether 'quick-dead' or 'new-born',
in the balance."
Today, our nation is at war. This time our veteran community which
too well the ravages of war, worries for its family as it
to retain personal balance.
Our enemies are faceless; their tactics and weapons either varied
unimaginable. We must learn to cope with the unknown. In this, none
of us is alone.
This war is being fought at home and abroad, and we are not alone.
families are with us. It is like shadow-boxing with a shadow that
from the dark. For our children, there really is a monster in the
The PTSD/SA Committee has adopted an agenda tailored to help all
of us cope
with this war. We believe strongly
role is two-fold - advocacy and education.
We will encourage a standardization of the treatment of PTSD
within the 21
VISNs. PTSD and mental illness are separate entities and must be
We are establishing a website to keep us current with advice and
information. We are developing a booklet designed to teach our
PTSD and how to cope with it. Children will be directly addressed
appropriate, sensitive language in this pamphlet. We will
establish a lesson
plan designed to ensure that VVA members across the country can
uniform approach to educate local community based service
encourage and will work for an increase in the number of mental
health courts in America.
Most important, we are coordinating our efforts with all other VVA
committees with overlapping interests. We have established a
the appropriate federal agencies and directors charged to
respond fairly and adequately to the increased
psychological and psychiatric care this new crisis has
precipitated for the
veterans and their families.
You may count on us as we count on you. We are one. It is why we