Confronting Invisible Wounds of War

New Survey Conducted by SSRS for the George W. Bush Presidential Center

A recent survey conducted by SSRS for the George W. Bush Presidential Center revealed that 8 in 10 veterans view embarrassment or shame as a barrier to seeking care for their invisible wound of war, post-traumatic stress or a traumatic brain injury.

The Bush Institute is committed to the responsibility we face as a nation to our post-9/11 servicemen and women and their families.  The George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative advocates for awareness, policies, and programs that enable veterans to successfully transition from military service to civilian life.

As part of this initiative, the Bush Institute commissioned SSRS to survey a group of post- 9/11 military veterans as well as adults in the general population in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States to gain a better understanding of how people think about veterans and their perceptions of issues veterans face around the invisible wounds of war – post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Data collection for the post-9/11 veteran survey is still in process with a target of 750 total completed interviews by this summer, the data below are drawn from 280 completed surveys. Interviews began in January and are expected to conclude in late July 2016.

For the general population survey, between February and March 2016, SSRS surveyed approximately 1,000 adults, age 18 and older in three countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While a fuller comprehensive analysis of both the general population survey and the post-9/11 veteran survey will be released later in 2016, initial analysis provides several key findings.