June is PTSD Awareness month: How Can YOU Serve?
One of my mortgage offices is located in Leesville, Louisiana, the home of the Army base of Fort Polk, Louisiana. Almost daily, I have a soldier in my office, and many of those soldiers are just home from war. PTSD is common among our clients as you might well imagine.
The Department of Veterans Affairs defines PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as"... a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster". June has been designated as PTSD Awareness month, and June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day.
This day was first established by Congress in 2010 after Senator Kent Conrad, (D-N.D.), proposed honoring North Dakota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Joe Biel, who took his own life following two tours in Iraq. Sgt. Biel’s birthday was June 27. Senator Conrad said, "National PTSD Awareness Day should serve as an opportunity for all of us to listen and learn about post-traumatic stress and let all our troops — past and present — know it’s okay to come forward and ask for help."
PLEASE take the time to watch and share the below video:
Like many military towns across the nation, the citizens and business leaders of our military town are honored to serve those who serve. As one of those community leaders, I encourage others, not only in my community, but in the communities across America, to become more aware and better educated on the challenges of PTSD.
However, it is my prayer that we as individuals, community leaders, business owners, families, churches, cities, states, and a nation, DO MORE than just become aware and educated. I want action! I want communities nationwide to become diligent and work together to serve our heroes coming back from war in whatever way we can. One of the reasons I have become so involved in the Boot Campaign is the give back program this organization has to various wounded warrior projects, one of which benefits veterans with PTSD with counseling services.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has listed 12 ways members of the community can serve. For that list, click HERE, or read below:
- Watch videos in AboutFace, an online gallery dedicated to Veterans talking about how PTSD treatment turned their lives around.
- Think broadly. When trauma happens, family, friends, coworkers and community are affected too.
- Learn about common reactions to trauma and readjustment after war to life at home.
- Be aware of where to get help for PTSD, including specific resources for Veterans.
- Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified (assessed) and treated.
- Know that treatment for PTSD can help.
- Ask if talking would help, but do not push if someone is not ready to discuss their trauma.
- Realize that getting people to talk or seek help from a therapist is not always easy. Your encouragement matters. Families of Veterans can reach out to Coaching Into Care for help finding the right words.
- Know the facts. More than half of US adults will experience trauma in their lifetime. About 7 out of 100 will get PTSD at some point. For Veterans and people who have been through violence and abuse the number is higher.
- Connect with self-help resources, apps, and videos about PTSD.
- Share handouts, brochures, or wallet cards about trauma and PTSD.
- Keep informed through our PTSD Monthly Update, Facebook, and Twitter.
What can you do to bring awareness to your community about PTSD?