Chairman Wilson Opening Statement: Mental Health Research
The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing today on Mental Health Research. Chairman Joe Wilson (SC) made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery: Witness testimony can be found on the Committee Document Repository website or the HASC hearing page above. All witness testimony is as prepared for, and embargoed until delivery.
"Today the Subcommittee will hear testimony on the research conducted by the Department of Defense and the military services to address deployment related psychological health needs of service members, particularly Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). "Before I begin, I’d like to thank Ranking Member Susan Davis from California for suggesting that we hold this hearing. I’d also like to recognize her leadership in this area both while she was the Chairwoman of the committee and now as the Ranking Member. "Today, we continue to address the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, PTSD and TBI. Our unwavering commitment is to our service members who are experiencing the challenge of multiple deployments. "Collectively the Department of Defense and, in particular, the leaders of the military health system who appear before us today, have done tremendous work responding to the mental health needs of our service members and their families. This has not been an easy task. I want to thank you for your efforts. "Since 2007, Congress has appropriated close to $1.5 billion for scientific and clinical research for the Department to improve the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and TBI. This investment has funded nearly one thousand studies in collaboration with Federal, academic and public-private partnerships. How have these studies increased the understanding of these conditions and how has this new knowledge translated into more effective methods of preventing and treating TBI and PTSD? "I am also anxious to hear about the future of these research efforts. How has sequestration and the Continuing Resolution affected both on-going studies and those that are yet to begin? "We must not lose the momentum we have gained through this research. We must continue to build on the hard work that’s already been done to fill any remaining gaps in scientific knowledge. I am committed to support DOD’s goal to prevent and treat these devastating conditions. Our service members deserve no less."