PTSD Awareness Month
June is PTSD Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that results from experiencing a traumatic event. This event could be experienced personally, witnessed, or learned about and can lead to feelings of extreme fear, helplessness, or horror. Examples include natural disasters, serious accidents, war, rape, or other assaults.
According to the National Center for PTSD, about 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one incidence of trauma in their lives. Nearly everyone who experiences a traumatic event will have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping and may experience PTSD symptoms for a period of time. PTSD symptoms often resolve on their own over time. For others, however, the symptoms persist. PTSD is diagnosed when the symptoms last for at least one month. Learn more about PTSD symptoms.
Our remarkable staff assist veterans and individuals challenged by PTSD as well as other life-altering obstacles like homelessness, substance use, and mental illness. A range of 11-30% of veterans have PTSD, depending on when and where they served.
Here is a story about a veteran served by the S:US Veterans Services Team:
Johnnie* spent 16 years in the United States Navy, sailing across the world and experiencing combat in service to his country. When he returned home, Johnnie found success working in the construction field and started a family. For a few years all went well for Johnnie, but the trauma of war eventually caught up with him. After spending years living with untreated PTSD, a rift widened with his wife, daughter and with most of his friends and family. He then became ill with respiratory issues and was diagnosed with chronic, end-stage emphysema. Johnnie was unable to work due to his disabilities, was socially isolated and spent all of his savings, eventually falling behind on his rent in his Bronx apartment.
S:US met Johnnie at housing court and staff assisted him with accessing medical care and treatment for his PTSD at the Bronx Department of Veterans Affairs. The SSVF program became a major support for the veteran — coordinating his care, assisting with peer support, aiding him financially with rent and food, and ultimately preventing Johnnie from becoming homeless in the twilight of his life. He was able to reconnect with his daughter and lived out the rest of his days in the dignity of his own home. Sadly Mr. Roberts passed away due to his illness, but constantly expressed his gratitude for S:US’ support through very challenging times. We would like to honor his memory and recognize the sacrifices Johnnie made in service to his country today and every day. (*Johnnie is an alias name.)
Johnnie’s story is an example of the many veteran stories we hear about. Even though PTSD treatments work, many people don’t get the help they need. June 27 is PTSD Screening Day and we encourage staff to let the veterans they work with know about this important day.
The National Center for PTSD and Mental Health America have PTSD self-assessment tools available online.
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