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Central Florida PTSD Clinic Funding Included In Defense Budget

The $577.9 billion national defense bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week includes a provision for money that would go to a University of Central Florida clinic that treats veterans and first responders for post-traumatic stress disorder.

UCF RESTORES uses virtual reality as a key part of treatment. The funding for the clinic would come from a defense budget devoted to advanced concepts and simulation.

Dan Holsenbeck, Senior Vice President for University Relations for UCF, is hopeful the provision will get Senate approval and eventually a nod from the president.  He knows the funding will not help the clinic run long-term.

“But does it sort of give us the safety net to continue to run the program to a position that it may support itself?” he asked. “This is a vital part of that.”

Proposals to fund the RESTORES are also circulating in the Florida Legislature with help from District 13 Sen. Linda Stewart and District 47 Rep. Mike Miller.

“That would be another sort of stamp of approval to the ability of the program to react with local events,” Holsenbeck says.

More than 250 service members, veterans, and first responders have been treated since the clinic opened.

Renata joined the WVIK News team in March 2014, as the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fellow. She anchors during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, produces features, and reports on everything from same-sex marriage legislation to unemployment in the Quad Cities.