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Waltz, Ryan Re-Introduce Bill to Leverage U.S.-Israel Partnership for PTSD Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (FL-6) and Pat Ryan (NY-18) introduced a bipartisan bill to leverage research by the U.S. and Israel to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) is introducing a companion bill in the Senate.

If passed, the United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act would leverage research assets and experiences of the U.S. and Israel to develop best practices in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD. The legislation also establishes a grant program for American universities and private non-profits teaming up with Israeli counterparts to research PTSD.

“Serving in combat changes you– and many times, our service members return home much different than they were when they deployed to no fault of their own,” said Waltz. “PTSD is a natural response for our service members who have seen war firsthand, affecting veterans from all backgrounds and walks of life. As a veteran myself, I understand how important it is we leverage every tool possible to better help our veterans heal and adjust to their lives back home.”

“During and after my two combat tours in Iraq, I saw firsthand the impact of PTSD on my brothers and sisters in arms,” said Ryan. “We simply have to do more for those who have sacrificed so much for this country. I’m proud to join Congressman Waltz in introducing this crucial legislation, which dedicates desperately needed resources to researching and treating PTSD. Together, we will help deliver the best-in-class care that our service members deserve.” 

“Through research and science, the global medical community is starting to better understand and treat PTSD which often impacts everyday people, including veterans, law enforcement officers and victims of violence,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation creates a grant program to support collaborations between American and Israeli research institutions to grow our understanding of this mental health condition and to provide treatment and hope for those who suffer from this disorder.”

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom experience PTSD. Women veterans of these conflicts have a higher rate of PTSD, with almost 20 percent having been diagnosed. People with PTSD may feel detached from others and suffer from depression and anxiety and can lead to problems at home as families of veterans struggle to help their loved ones adjust back to civilian life. Further research of this disorder, coupled with treatment options, can help better recognize, diagnose, and treat those suffering with PTSD.

“If we want to thank our veterans for putting their lives on the line for our freedoms, we should ensure they lead happy, healthy lives when they return home,” said Waltz.