There Is Help for Veterans with PTSD

By: Pennsylvania Senator Tracy Pennycuick (24th District) 

June is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness month. As a U.S. Army combat veteran, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of PTSD on our troops, veterans, and their families.

There are currently about 12 million people in the United States with PTSD. PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. Anyone can develop PTSD at any age.

In my 26 years in the Army, I served in Afghanistan and Iraq and Korea and the UK and numerous other posts. I served as a First Lieutenant in Desert Storm and saw my fair share of terrible things in battle. I am blessed to have been able to come home.

For soldiers, sailors and airmen who are struggling there are many options for treating PTSD and even though treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need.

As a state Senator, helping veterans and first responders with PTSD is a top priority. In addition to calling for more resources for diagnosis and treatment, I introduced, and the General Assembly unanimously passed SR 46, to establish the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care in the Commonwealth. The goal of the Task Force is to study the health issues facing women veterans and make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.

I believe this resolution will pave the way for our state to apply for and receive additional federal resources to address this and other issues affecting our veterans. 

I have also called on Congress to pass the Treatment and Relief through Emerging and Accessibly Therapy for PTSD Act (TREAT PTSD). The bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide stellate ganglion block (SGB) therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Under a doctor’s supervision, SGB therapy is an outpatient procedure that may relieve PTSD.

In addition, I support additional funding for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for veterans and our emergency responders. This lifeline can play a crucial role in helping those in need at a critical time in their life.

For veterans, the following information is also available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

PTSD Treatment Programs
All Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers provide PTSD treatment, and many locations around the county offer specialized PTSD programs. 

Care for Women Veterans
Many VA Medical Centers offer mental health programs specifically for women Veterans. 

Vet Centers
Many Veterans and their families use Vet Centers, often staffed by Veterans, for support. These community-based centers focus on counseling and services to help with the transition from military to civilian life or after military trauma.  

VA Benefits and Claims
The claims process can be complicated, but don’t let that stop you from applying for the VA benefits you may be entitled to.

In Berks County, you can contact:

In Montgomery County, you can contact:


Everyone with PTSD needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life. Help spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available.

Pennsylvania Senator Tracy Pennycuick represents the 24th District, which includes parts of Berks and Montgomery counties.

CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore (215) 541-2388

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