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Florida Governor Signs Bill to Offer Veterans Alternative Therapies for PTSD

Aug 1, 2019

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 1, 2019 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a measure that will expand the availability of alternative treatment options for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The bill was signed during a ceremony at the University of South Florida (USF) Office for Veteran Success on June 26.

The measure, HB 501, won unanimous support from the Florida House and Senate during this year’s legislative session. It was sponsored by state Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, and backed by Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Danny Burgess. USF was awarded $200,000 to fund the therapies.

Under the bill, the FDVA will be able to partner with Florida universities and other state educational institutions to offer a wide variety of alternative treatments to veterans. Service animal assistance and music therapy are examples of the alternative therapies for PTSD that Florida’s universities and colleges will be able to provide through their federal contract with the department.

“These partnerships can be valuable for veterans who suffer from PTSD or TBI,” commented Florida veterans lawyer David W. Magann. “Alternative therapies can help veterans get through tough times after returning home and transitioning back to civilian life. The new legislation recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health care as not all forms of treatment work the same on everyone.”

Available alternative therapies include equine, accelerated resolution, hyperbaric oxygen, music and service animal training. DeSantis, who has served in the Navy, has been a longtime supporter of alternative therapies. He said their use marks a departure from relying on prescription medication as the sole treatment for PTSD.

USF health professor Kevin Kip said along with helping veterans, the measure enables research into the effectiveness of various therapies. In recent years, dozens of nonprofit organizations across the United States have started offering a broad range of alternative therapies such as acupuncture and yoga to veterans. However, Kip noted that there is a lack of standardized analysis of the treatments’ effectiveness. “It’s about as fragmented as you could possibly make it,” he said.

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618

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