Her idea is virtual reality treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
After World War II, Korea and Vietnam, almost nobody considered what the horrors of war did to soldiers returning home.
Now just about everyone is attuned to the fact that service members are vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Medical treatment of veterans generally is a federal responsibility, but state Rep. Dianne Hamilton wants New Mexico to spend $250,000 for a four-year study to determine the efficiency of virtual reality treatment devices for PTSD.
Hamilton, R-Silver City, calls in her bill for the study be done at her hometown school, Western New Mexico University.
The project is supposed to demonstrate that virtual reality therapy is "a cost- and therapeutically effective strategy to help reduce anxiety and depression and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
In addition, her hope is that virtual reality therapy will decrease long-term costs by lessening the need for chronic care of veterans.
The question for New Mexico's 112 lawmakers is whether the state's taxpayers should shoulder the burden of the cost for such a research project, especially because the U.S. government has ongoing efforts to diagnose, treat and manage PTSD.
Hamilton's proposal, introduced with the endorsement of the Legislature's Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee, is House Bill 36.