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October 13, 2020 12:08 pm

Bipartisan Congressional Letter Urges Inclusion of US-Israel PTSD Program in Annual Defense Bill

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Two US Congress members penned a letter last week calling for the inclusion of funding for a US-Israel initiative to fight post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the upcoming annual defense bill.

In the letter, Representatives Michael Waltz (R-FL) and Elaine Luria (D-VA) urged that Section 736, Grant Program for Increased Cooperation on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Between the United States and Israel — which currently has 98 cosponsors — be retained in the legislation.

They emphasized the Israeli role in the program, saying, “Israel, under constant attack from terrorist groups, has experienced similar issues with their veterans and civilian populations facing the symptoms of PTSD.”

“Several leading Israeli hospitals, universities, and non-profits have dedicated their efforts to researching and treating PTSD,” they pointed out.

“Section 736 aims to leverage the collective research assets and experience of both of our countries to develop best-practices in research, diagnosing, and treating PTSD,” the letter noted. “The legislation establishes a grant program for American universities and private non-profit institutions that team-up with an Israeli counterpart with the same goals and purpose.”

“A better understanding of this disorder, along with treatment options, can help us better recognize, diagnose, and treat those suffering from traumatic incidents,” it added.

The letter was also signed by Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Susan Wild (D-PA).

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