City of Phoenix recognizes Nov. 3 as Veterans Brain Health Awareness Day

Nov 4, 2021, 4:55 AM

PHOENIX- The city of Phoenix now recognizes Nov. 3 as Veterans Brain Health Awareness Day in hopes to encourage those currently serving or have served to be conscious of their brain health.

More than 600,000 veterans in the United States suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, while almost 480,000 in the past 20 years have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.

Patrick Ziegert, a combat veteran, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that a lot of these cases go unreported.

“A lot of people that are in the military are reluctant to ask for help, but when they do these documented cases are far less than what is actually real,” Ziegert said.

Ziegert added the proclamation by the city of Phoenix brings awareness to these issues and helps people understand how significant these “invisible wounds of war are.”

Luke Faddel, a veteran, works with the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona and provides support to veterans dealing with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Faddel said veterans often don’t want to talk about their mental health, brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder but “when I can open up that dialogue and we talk about it, we can find resources that they need that help them move forward in life.”

Both Faddel and Ziegert hope the proclamation encourages veterans and their family members to reach out for help and normalizes working on their mental health.

“People believe it’s a sign of weakness if you admit you’ve got an issue … I think that recognition is going to help encourage people that it’s okay,” Ziegert said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is also expected to issue a similar proclamation for the state.

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City of Phoenix recognizes Nov. 3 as Veterans Brain Health Awareness Day