SPRINGFIELD – The National Institute of Medicine estimates that 20 percent of the 2.6 million U.S. service members who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The holidays can be a difficult time for veterans struggling to cope with their experiences.
Now and throughout the year, the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program (IWAP) is a free resource that is available for veterans and their families. Veterans or loved ones can call to ask questions, be screened for PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI), and receive free follow-on counseling when needed.
"It is important for veterans to understand that seeking help for symptoms of PTSD is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength," said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. "The good news for Illinois veterans and their families is that there are confidential treatment options available so they can access the help they need and deserve."
Signs and symptoms of PTSD vary and may include: trouble sleeping,
concentrating or remembering; anger, irritability or anxiousness; or,
frightening thoughts or nightmares.
As a free and confidential resource provided by the State of Illinois, IWAP is a separate entity and bears no connection to the U.S. Armed Forces or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans can access the program's benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via an online chat option at www.illinoiswarrior.com or through IWAP's toll-free helpline at 1-866-554-4927.