Are Service Dogs the Solution to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

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Twenty-two U.S. veterans commit suicide every day, CNN reports. These alarmingly high rates make it clear. Something needs to be done. Current vet suicide prevention programs, including programs offering post traumatic stress disorder help, need attention. Methods that work are not getting proper funding from the Veterans Administration (VA).

Many vets, for example, credit service dogs with significantly decreasing symptoms of military trauma — including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even so, government programs, including the VA, do not offer monetary help to own and care for these animals.

Service Dogs Save Lives

“I have been in Soldier’s Best Friend for six months. Before I started the program I had severe depression and rarely left my house. Since I got Maddy my life has much more purpose and my depression has gone away. My PTSD symptoms are much less severe. I am also much more comfortable leaving my house. I highly recommend the program to other vets,” one vet tells Arizona non-profit organization, Soldier’s Best Friend.

Government Funding is Limited

To this day, the VA will only cover limited fees for service dogs — and usually only for blind or mobility impaired veterans. “Blind Veterans with working dogs are provided veterinary care and equipment through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids. VA does not pay for boarding, grooming, food, or any other routine expense associated with owning a dog,” the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs official website states. The VA covers the same basic costs for mobility impaired veterans.

Appealing For More

Veterans may be able to get additional assistance and government funding for military trauma. If you believe that you are entitled for more — or if you did not receive proper monetary assistance for service dogs’ veterinary care — ask veterans lawyers for legal advice. Veterans lawyers may be able to help you or your loved ones appeal for more.

Veterans are committing suicide at staggering rates. Ask lawyers — and your local politicians — to help support government funding for treatments and programs that work, like pairing up veterans with service and guide dogs. Find more:

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