This year, the month of June is dedicated to raising awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD, although most commonly associated with military personnel, is a mental health condition that can be found affecting survivors of natural disasters, civilian witnesses to acts of violence, and victims of abuse. In the United States alone, around 8 million adults are affected by it each year with 1 in 13 people in the U.S. developing PTSD symptoms at some point in their life. Some symptoms of PTSD can include vivid flashbacks, extreme alertness or feeling on edge, and an inability to sleep or relax.
PTSD awareness month is a time for learning more about the impact of PTSD, fighting to end the stigma surrounding victims of trauma, and making treatment and accommodations more readily available to those who have it. Throughout June, there are several ways that you can work to educate yourself and raise awareness for PTSD. The disorder is often underreported, underdiagnosed, and tragically ignored, but you can make a difference in your community by participating in the movement to raise PTSD awareness. Your efforts for the sake of people with PTSD don't have to end at the end of the month either. You can make supporting those who have PTSD and raising awareness for the condition a life-long practice.
How can you help raise awareness for PTSD?
1. Start by taking the Raise PTSD Awareness Pledge .
2. Spread the word. Check out this PTSD Awareness Month Calendar for 30 ways to raise PTSD awareness, one for every day during the month of June.
3. Understand PTSD. Start with PTSD Basics. Download the Understand PTSD and PTSD Treatment booklet. Participate in the free, in-depth Continuing Education Courses for more advanced information.
4. Get Support. Get help in a crisis by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Find a therapist. You can also find Self-Help and Coping tools to help you manage stress reactions, regardless of whether or not you have PTSD.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from PTSD, please do what you feel comfortable with to find assistance. There are many people willing to help. Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don't get the help they need. Help spread the word that treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.
Take the mystery out of PTSD treatment:
Watch the short whiteboard video PTSD Treatment: Know Your Options to learn which treatments are best.
Use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to find the treatment that is best for you.
Visit AboutFace, a website where Veterans, their family members, and clinicians talk about turning life around with PTSD treatment.