Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that more medical schools will increase their training and research for post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries affecting military members. Obama spoke with veterans at Virginia Commonwealth University saying 130 schools will boost their efforts to train students in these mental health issues. The American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine are also committed to improving health care services for military service members.
This push to address PTSD is part of the Joining Forces campaign, which was created by the first lady and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, and is one that is greatly needed. The Defense Department estimates that nearly 213,000 military members have suffered brain injuries since 2000 and that about 3,000 veterans who were assigned to conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq suffered major depression or PTSD. The trouble lies in the fact that fewer than half sought treatment for their stress disorder and nearly 60 percent didn't have their injuries evaluated at all.
Obama offered ways in which schools are improving their training and research developments that will allow physicians to detect injuries and planning to open education centers for veterans and their families.
"This country is counting on you," she told medical students in the audience. "No pressure."
Obama also thanked troops and encouraged them to get the mental health treatment they needed.
"Seek help, don't bury it," she said. "Asking for help is a sign of strength."
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