June is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month and increased efforts are being made to assist our warriors as they return home from deployment overseas and those already home to deal with the affliction. When you look at the statistics, placing an emphasis on the disorder and getting help to those who need it becomes crucial and a national duty.
According to the PTSD Foundation of America, one in three returning service members will suffer from severe post-traumatic stress. Fewer than forty percent will seek help. The overall lack of understanding, awareness and available treatment options in this country is a national disgrace.
Following trauma, most people experience stress reactions but many do not develop PTSD. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not. However, if stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, help should be sought to determine if PTSD is a factor.
The purpose of PTSD Awareness Month is to encourage everyone to raise public awareness of PTSD and its effective treatments so that everyone can help people affected by PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD, a division of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has a website with a wealth for resources for soldiers and also their families, loved ones and friends, including information on where to get help for PTSD. Also available this month is the special Take the Step action plan, which incorporates four steps: One: Learn More About PTSD; Two: Challenge Beliefs About PTSD; Three: Explore Options for Help; and Four: Reach Out.
Today, June 20 is National PTSD Screening Day, and the National Center's website has a self-assessment questionaire you can complete online, as well as a longer evaluation to be shared with a doctor.
The website for the National Center for PTSD is Ptsd.va.gov.