Montco and Delco Legislators Team Up to Help Vets With PTSD

Jennifer O'Mara with husband Brad Bitting.
Image via NBC 10.
State Rep. Jennifer O'Mara with husband Brad Bitting.

Two Pennsylvania legislators—one from Montgomery County and one from Delaware County, one Republican, one Democrat, are coming together on a common issue—to help veterans suffering from PTSD, reports Lucy Bustamante for NBC 10.

State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware County) and Rep. Tracy Pennycuick, (R-Montgomery County) have teamed up to promote the use of “magical mushrooms” in mainstream medicine as a way to treat PTSD symptoms for vets.

They hope to convince other Pennsylvania legislators to legalize a clinical study of Psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms” that some current studies suggest may reduce fear and anxiety in PTSD victims.  

Penncuick, who served three combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, suffers from PTSD. She was trapped in a burning jeep when an IED exploded next to her.

“I’m certainly living the trauma every night when I sleep or when I don’t sleep,” says the state rep.

She found an ally in Democrat O’Mara.

Rep. O’Mara’s husband, Brad Bitting, is a combat veteran who suffered seven traumatic brain injuries from his time in Afghanistan.

Penncuick points out that there are still 22 veterans committing suicide each day.

“So obviously what we’re doing now isn’t working.”

Read more at NBC 10 about this unique collaboration.