July 24, 2012
Large numbers of veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
They are also finding delays in getting treatment.
Mark Alvarez is the commander of VFW post 3308. He believes that as many as 40 percent coming home are feeling the effects of combat.
"They're very quiet, you know, very edgy sometimes. They lose their focus at times" said Alvarez.
A swamped Veterans Administration is the first place for those seeking help to turn. After that, it is private or state programs. The problem is that Florida ranks 50th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in mental health funding. Experts says the state is losing ground.
More than half the money the state spends on mental health goes to keeping people locked up, not helping them before they need to be institutionalized.