Thousands of U.S. veterans download PTSD app


The federal government is going high-tech to help wounded soldiers and veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says more than 53,000 people have downloaded their mobile app, called PTSD Coach, in the last year. The app was created to help veterans understand and deal with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“For someone who’s feeling triggered and on guard, it might take you through a relaxation exercise. It might help you with deep breathing,” said Dr. Sonja Batten, the VA’s deputy chief consultant for specialty mental health.

The VA has faced criticism for a shortage of mental health professionals, but V.A. officials say the app is not intended to be a substitute for face-to-face treatment.

The Department of Defense is unveiling its own app for wounded warriors. It was created to help them find information about disability payments, health care providers and other benefits.