PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Robin Ganzert
has studied the impact of the relationship between dogs and owners and has come to understand just how valuable these relationships can be for veterans who are coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental disabilities. Research regarding the best ways to treat PTSD and help veterans transition from military to civilian life with this condition is ongoing, and a recent article
published by Military.com explains that "President Obama announced new research initiatives to combat post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injuries while also introducing a joint government-schools effort to help veterans succeed in college." While these efforts are certainly appreciated and made in the right spirit, Ganzert calls attention to the fact that one of the most effective treatment options has been limited.
The damage that PTSD can inflict upon individuals who have this condition is severe. An alarming suicide rate among veterans who have PTSD is increasing to record heights, and researchers are searching for ways to address this illness in order to best care for veterans who are returning from service. The previously cited article explains that one of President Obama's initiatives is the creation of the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, also known as CAP. This new organization will focus on treating acute PTSD cases and preventing the development of chronic PTSD cases by establishing "the most effective diagnostic, prognostic, and rehabilitative strategies."
According to an article published by Yahoo!, CAP and the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (a similar organization formed to study traumatic brain injury) will receive $107 million to conduct five-year studies in conjunction with numerous educational institutions. Specifically, CAP will be led by the University of Texas Health Science Center--San Antonio, the Boston VA Medical Center, and the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
While the efforts of President Obama and his administration to improve the quality of life for veterans with PTSD are encouraged and appreciated, Robin Ganzert explains that there are options that are not being fully taken advantage of that are open to veterans in need. The healing power of the companionship of service dogs has been cited as a leading resource for individuals who are trying to cope with PTSD and live normal lives despite the condition, but Ganzert explains that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decided to end funding of service dog programs while conducting further research. Because the research will not be completed until 2014, veterans will have to wait much too long for service dogs through the VA--if the program is to be reinstated at all.
"Being around service dogs helps keep veterans who are suffering from PTSD grounded," comments Robin Ganzert. "If they start to feel emotionally stressed they can turn to these dogs for comfort and for the kind of therapy that the strong bond between dog and owner provides. We know that this bond is able to promote healing, and it is essential that veterans with PTSD have access to programs that will help them adopt service dogs."
Robin Ganzert encourages individuals to contact their local representatives and VA offices to voice their support of service dog-oriented therapy programs.
Robin Ganzert is the president of the American Humane Association, which is an organization that is dedicated to improving the welfare of animals and children in need. Additionally, the organization serves to promote the benefits of strong bonds that are forged between animals and humans.