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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Florida: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Legislation That Enhances Treatment Options for Veterans Suffering from PTSD

A long-time effort at USF to strengthen alternative treatment options for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries has gained additional support from the Florida Legislature.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation (HB 501) at the USF Office for Veteran Success, instructing the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to partner with USF in managing the contracts of licensed providers who offer unique treatments, such as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).

“I’ve watched alternative therapies change the lives of our students and veterans,” said Dr. Larry Braue, director of the USF Office of Veteran Success. “I’ve seen the impact ART has had on our veterans. It’s appropriate this bill was signed here because USF is one of the most veteran-friendly schools in the country and we are at the tip of the spear for making things happen in honoring and serving our veterans in the State of Florida.”

Dr. Kevin Kip, distinguished professor in the University of South Florida College of Public Health and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, is one of the world’s leading researchers in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). It’s a form of psychotherapy that involves the veteran mentally reliving their past traumatic experience and then imagining a new positive way to remember it. This allows the brain to change the way in which memories are stored and recalled, an approach known as memory reconsolidation.

The 2019-2020 budget allocated $200,000 to USF for ART and other alternative treatments, enhancing Dr. Kip’s research and collaboration efforts with various veteran organizations. With substantiating evidence, he hopes to eventually see ART become a preferred method for treating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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