SENATOR PRESSLER, WHO HAS SUFFERED FROM POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD), WILL MAKE TREATMENT OF PTSD ONE OF HIS FIRST LEGISLATIVE INITAITIVES
Sioux Falls, SD, October 26 2014 – Senator Larry Pressler, himself a post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer from his two tours of combat duty in Vietnam, today reacted to the Argus Leader article “Tami’s Torment” written by Steve Young by proposing that a national PTSD center be located at Hot Springs, South Dakota at the existing veterans facilities in Hot Springs. Steve Young’s piece discussed the story of a 25-year veteran of the South Dakota National Guard who had been deployed to Iraq. She recently committed suicide in Sioux Falls.
“I think Mr. Young’s poignant article on Tami’s suicide in South Dakota should remind us all that a lot of veterans, men and women, have PTSD,” said Senator Pressler.
“There is talk of building 10-12 new PTSD treatment centers in the United States. These centers would take PTSD victims for about 60 days for treatment. Early definitions of these centers would be that they would be located in quiet, serene, non-urban areas. Rather than an expensive new construction program across the nation, I think we should use some existing facilities for possible PTSD treatment.”
Senator Pressler continued, “Hot Springs, South Dakota would be an ideal place. It is about an hour and a half from the airport in Rapid City. It is a serene setting in the mountains in the southern Black Hills with a river, a small golf course, and it is what Barbara Bush once described as ‘the most beautiful little city in America.’”
Senator Pressler has received treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder, but continues to volunteer to help others with PTSD. In his career in the House and Senate, he was one of the original legislators to get post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed as a disability.
“One of the first bills I will introduce is to support treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, and to change the rules so that people will not hurt their careers by admitting to it or reporting it,” said Senator Pressler. “I read the ‘Tami’s Torment’ story with much understanding. I have PTSD from Vietnam and I was fortunate enough to get treatment early. Apparently Tami was afraid of ruining her 25-year career and did not get treatment.”