Senate passes bill to study veteran brain injuries



By Jessica Wray 

INDIANAPOLIS – A measure is headed to the Indiana House that would have the Indiana State Department of Health complete a study on creating a program to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 180 unanimously on Tuesday. The bill would require the health department to focus on treatments for post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, as well as ways to improve the state’s access to those treatments

The bill’s co-author, Sen. Jim Banks R-Columbia City, said in a press release Tuesday that PTSD and traumatic brain injuries can create other mental health concerns – which is an important topic for the state to look into.

“Each year, as many as 5,000 U.S. veterans commit suicide, which is a statistic we cannot ignore,” Banks said. “It’s my hope this study will help our brave men and women secure financing and access to the treatment they need to lead a happy, healthy life.”

Banks said he was approached by several veterans groups concerned about veterans’ access to healthcare treatment, specifically when suffering from brain injuries. Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek,  co-authored the bill.