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Bill Calls On State To Provide Vets PTSD Alternatives

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Among the many bills to be considered during Florida’s 2018 legislative session is legislation that would offer alternative treatments to veterans with post-traumatic stress.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Greg Steube (FL-R) of Sarasota, calls on the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide PTSD alternatives that may not be available at a federal VA.

Treatments such as equine therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and music therapy are some of the alternatives Steube wants the state to start offering to veterans.

“I’ve talked to a lot of vets that have PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury and things like music therapy, it tends to work very well for some of these guys.” Steube said. “And if it works, then why aren’t we utilizing it?”

Steube said the VA has been slow to recognize alternatives to the traditional medical therapy or counseling.

So, he filed Senate Bill 82 that would authorize the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to give certain veterans PTSD options. But the bill was not heard by a committee prior to the Jan. 9, 2018 start of the session.

Steube is one of only a few veterans serving in the Florida legislature.

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Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.