Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, frightening or dangerous event, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
“I am a Vietnam veteran,” said Captain Cliff Ishigaki, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), board president of Wellness Works in Glendale.
Ishigaki is recovering from PTSD and is an advocate for more support and understanding for those with this disorder and for continued treatment. Recently the Veterans Administration in Westwood announced its plan to “revitalize” the West LA Campus. The plan, according to the VA website, is to create a “one-stop shop” location where each zone will host a specific type of health care, employment information and other services. That change has not been welcomed by all, especially a group of veterans who are worried that their longtime meeting room where they worked through PTSD issues as a group will be affected in a negative way.
Ishigaki has joined these veterans who have voiced their concerns about moving this tight-knit group of veterans. The room in which the veterans have met for decades is more than just a room, it is their home. It is not easy for many PTSD-afflicted veterans to admit there is an issue, let alone walk into a room for help. There is a real concern by some veterans that others will not return if the room is moved.
He added that many veterans groups like Wellness Works are providing healthcare and mental healthcare that addresses all aspects of PTSD including introduction back into the civilian world.
His hope is that veterans, especially those concerned about the room move at the West LA Campus VA will be heard and that, as the VA moves forward with more PTSD groups, the goal will be to treat the entire issue from symptom reduction to stabilization.