Veterans Affairs
United States of America

While the number 22 Veteran Suicides daily is going around, this number is not exact. Some research states that the number is closer to 18 and other research that the number is much higher. Regardless of the exact number, any number is a concern. Currently the Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved using Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) for treating PTSD. The approved CAM treatments for PTSD are: meditation, acupuncture, relaxation and yoga. While these alternative treatments have shown some benefits they are not treatments that the majority of our Veterans would choose.

A study was conducted at St John of God Hospital in Richmond, Australia comparing two groups. Patients being treated for PTSD with group therapy, medication and psychotherapy and patients being treated for PTSD using a structured fitness program in addition to the traditional care. Results showed that those using the structured fitness program showed greater improvements in PTSD symptoms than those that did not take part in the structured fitness program. In addition, those that participated in the structured fitness program lost weight, recovered more quickly from injuries and were healthier overall. They had such great results with this study that they now implement structured fitness into their PTSD treatment programs.

In addition to this study they have extensive medical documentation that shows the numerous benefits exercise has on mental health. From my own personal experience and discussing treatment programs with other Veterans with PTSD, I know that physical exercise significantly reduces symptoms. While numerous Veterans may have gym memberships, the affordable gyms are crowded and often trigger PTSD symptoms. Not only this but the average Veteran has been trained to do what they are told in regards to their fitness. When they leave the military they often gain a significant amount of weight and struggle with their health.

An individual will have greater benefits working with a certified personal trainer than they would on their own. While Veterans with PTSD are encouraged to engage in physical exercise this is not enough. Let’s face it, not many Veterans are going to want to enter a room full of women and try to do a downward dog. Another option needs to be provided. It is proven that exercise significantly benefits our mental health. A structured exercise program designed by a certified personal trainer specifically for that individual, will have significantly higher results than those that attempt to exercise alone with no guidance.

We, the undersigned, call on the Veterans Affairs Administration to recognize Certified Personal Training as a Complimentary Alternative Medicine for treating Veterans with PTSD and other mental illness.

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The Lower Veteran Suicide Rates petition to Veterans Affairs was written by Rebekah Hall and is in the category Military at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

veterans suicide PTSD #22