Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto launched the Joey Votto Foundation to support the healing of active service members, veterans, and military families affected by Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the Greater Cincinnati and Toronto areas.
Details of the new foundation and its mission were announced at a press conference Thursday at the Green Diamond Gallery in Montgomery, Ohio.
The Joey Votto Foundation will invest time, talent and resources to develop programs that provide resources and support that veterans and their families need to overcome PTSD. In addition, the foundation is working with the University of Cincinnati to create a stress disorder program dedicated to providing PTSD treatment and resources for families.
The goal is to care for approximately 500 new patients and more than 4,000 visits/therapy sessions each year.
"I wanted to do something to give back to the communities that have been so good to me, and there were plenty of options," said Votto. "I chose to help those who are affected by PTSD because of my past experiences with emotional struggles. I've had panic attacks and depression, which are symptoms experienced by those with PTSD. I want to help others who are going through mental health issues, so I chose this path. I'm very passionate about it."
Approximately 25 percent of returning service members will experience PTSD and are in need of treatment by experts in psychiatry. Roughly half of veterans with PTSD will seek help, many of whom will drop out of treatment before completion. The Votto Foundation will help families of those experiencing PTSD and services complementary to those offered by other organizations.