Harvard Law School
M.A. Columbia University
B.A. Yale University
Mediator, Judge Pro-Tem
Certified Family Law Specialist
licensed by the State Bar of California
Stan is a member of the
San Diego North County Bar Association .
Licensed to practice in California, Maryland, Washington D.C., & Georgia
Whether you are a serving sailor, marine or retired service member, you have a right to treatment for PTSD . Federal statutes and regulations creating the Veterans Administration and governing the care it provides guarantee the availability of multiple treatment options.
If you've retired, and you think you are suffering from PTSD, the obvious place to start is a VA hospital. However, given the scandals presently unfolding regarding timely access to care at VA facilities, you owe it to yourself to get on the Internet and find out what's out there for you, before sitting in a waiting room for hours on end.
The first problem you'll encounter is an information age standard: too much information. having trolled through some of it, it seems to me that the best place to start would be the site of the National Center for PTSD. This site does not provide clinical care or individual referrals, but it does help veterans find local mental health services and information on trauma and PTSD. Right on the first page, you'll find phone numbers for the Veterans Crisis Line, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline , and other emergency help.
After that the going gets a little tougher. I suspect that if you are reading this, and in fact suffering from PTSD symptoms, you will find yourself overwhelmed before long going from link to link and reading up on what PTSD is and what you can do about handling yours. I think this may call for a slightly different approach than you might imagine. Veterans sometimes call my office an want to know who they can sue to get help. The answer is you can't.
That's probably a good thing. Litigation would not be helpful. But you can complain. Would writing to anyone in the government help? Past experience indicates it wouldn't. About all that ever comes back are form letters. However, you and everyone else has a member of Congress elected from the district where you live. They're easy to find. If you don't already know who yours is, try looking on the general federal government web site, USA.gov .
Get the address and phone number of the local office. In the office there will be a number of staffers whose job it is to make constituents happy. That includes you. A living person will actually talk to you, listen to your problem, and make a conscientious effort to help you by answering your questions and directing you to the next step, in a concrete and focused fashion. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I believe that's how it's supposed to work, and that it does.
A final thought. Enroll everyone you know in your battle to get the help you need. And don't give up!
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