- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More than three in four soldiers say they are struggling to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq but getting mental health care remains a struggle for them, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the Wounded Warrior Project.

Of the 23,000 injured current and former troops surveyed, 76.2 percent said they suffer from PTSD, an increase from 75.2 percent who said they struggled with the disorder in 2014.

According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they experienced sleep problems, with over 43 percent saying they had trouble sleeping almost every day. Nearly 69 percent suffered from depression and over 67 percent experienced anxiety connected to their injuries.

But 35 percent of respondents said they had difficulty getting mental health care, had put off getting such care, or did not get the care they needed at all. More than half of survey respondents said they had sought mental health care already.

That number has decreased only slightly from 35.2 percent since 2014, but it still alarmingly high, WWP officials said.

“This generation of injured veterans continues to struggle with the invisible wounds of war, including PTSD and TBI, and the challenges are not getting better with time,” said WWP CEO Steve Nardizzi in a statement.

WWP officials plan to launch their own Warrior Care Network in early 2016 to address veterans’ mental health needs. The three-year, $100 million project will include four medical center partners in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago working toward a national medical care network to connect wounded veterans with new medical care resources.

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