Health
6:12 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

N.H. Veterans Face Stigma Over Mental Health Treatment

Major General Bill Reddel of the N.H. National Guard
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

A new report finds New Hampshire veterans face stigma and a complicated health system when seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

The findings come from a Commission created by the state legislature to investigate barriers to care and treatment of PTSD and TBI for the state’s 115,000 veterans.

The Commission, which is composed of military and civilian leaders, surveyed 1,100 vets. Thirty percent responded they weren’t getting the help they needed because of stigma over their mental health needs.

"New Hampshire veterans deserve the care, to be able to seek that care openly, without disgrace, without dishonor," says Nicholas Tolentino, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the Commission. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD.

The report concludes the single best way to honor the sacrifices of New Hampshire veterans and their families is the end the cycle of mental health crisis.

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