10 Things You Can Do to Help Veterans with PTSD

Another lead up to PTSD Awareness Day, June 27.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of  the signature medical issues for returning combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. So, it’s important that the civilian community from employers to educators understand and know how to help those living with PTSD.

Vietnam veterans have been instrumental in pushing for PTSD awareness among the military hierarchy, government officials and civilian communities. For veterans, understanding the symptoms and seeking early treatment is critical for successfully living with the disorder. But, civilians can help too.

10 Ways community members can help:

  1. Understand that anyone can experience trauma, such as accidents, assault, war, or disasters.
  2. Think broadly. When trauma happens, the survivor’s family, friends, coworkers, and community are affected.
  3. Learn about common reactions to trauma and readjustment to life outside a war zone.
  4. Be aware of where to get help for trauma survivors, Veterans, and people with PTSD.
  5. Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified and treated.
  6. Know that treatment for PTSD works.
  7. Ask a Veteran or trauma survivor if talking would help, but do not push if someone is not ready to discuss things.
  8. Realize that stigma is a barrier to getting treatment. Getting people to talk or seek help is not always easy. Your encouragement matters.
  9. Know the facts. More than half of US adults will experience trauma in their lifetime. About 7% of adults will deal with PTSD at some point. For Veterans and male and female sexual assault survivors, the figure is higher.
  10. Connect with self-help resources, apps, and videos about PTSD.

The list is courtesy of the VA National Center for PTSD. You can stay informed about PTSD through the PTSD Monthly Update.

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