Mental Health

APA’s Strong Support For Immediate And Seamless Access To Treatment For America’s Armed Service

APA Deputy Medical Director Testifies to the APA’s Support of America’s Military

ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 24, 2010) – APA Deputy Medical Director Annelle Primm, M.D., testified
before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing today on appropriate treatment for Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Primm emphasized APA’s strong support for immediate and
seamless access to treatment for America’s armed service members and their families, and emphasized
the importance of advocacy for returning service members with psychiatric and substance use disorders.

“We at the APA are hopeful that today’s hearing and testimony will help promote access to information,
encourage expanded support for research, and enhance the ability of returning members of the military
and their families to advocate effectively for the treatment they need and deserve,” she said.

Dr. Primm strongly disagreed with those claiming that antidepressants typically used for treating PTSD
do not work or cause patients to consider suicide.

APA Deputy Medical Director Testifies to the APA’s Support of America’s Military

February 24, 2010 – ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 24, 2010) – APA Deputy Medical Director Annelle Primm, M.D., testified

before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing today on appropriate treatment for Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. Primm emphasized APA’s strong support for immediate and
seamless access to treatment for America’s armed service members and their families, and emphasized
the importance of advocacy for returning service members with psychiatric and substance use disorders.
“We at the APA are hopeful that today’s hearing and testimony will help promote access to information,
encourage expanded support for research, and enhance the ability of returning members of the military
and their families to advocate effectively for the treatment they need and deserve,” she said.
Dr. Primm strongly disagreed with those claiming that antidepressants typically used for treating PTSD
do not work or cause patients to consider suicide.
“I note that many of the most dramatic improvements in the effective treatment of mental illness have
come as a result of newer and better medications, especially a class of antidepressants called SSRIs,
which can be utilized to help manage PTSD symptoms,” she stated. “Contrary to frequent reports in the
popular media, there is no evidence to suggest that these medications increase the risk of actual suicide.”
Dr. Primm stressed that family members of returning service personnel play an important role in
recognizing possible PTSD symptoms and encouraging their returned soldiers to seek treatment from a
qualified mental health professional when necessary.

For Information Contact: 
Eve Herold, 703-907-8640
[email protected] Release No. 10-15
Jaime Valora, 703-907-8562
[email protected]

“To this end, the APA has a consumer Web site, Healthyminds.org, which provides patients and
families with information about the symptoms and treatment of depression, PTSD and substance use
disorders.”
The APA is also a proud partner of “Give an Hour,” a volunteer organization that provides professional
mental health and substance use disorder services through a network of professionals who volunteer their
services for an hour a week to active and returning military, National Guard, veterans and their families.
The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members
specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use
disorders. Visit the APA at www.psych.org

Note: You may also visit DepressionForums.org for more information on Depression, PTSD and Substance Abuse.

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