12 Organizations Working to Raise PTSD Awareness

Monday, June 27, is PTSD Awareness Day established by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you’re a member of the civilian community, here is a list of 10 things you can do to help raise understanding of PTSD.

If you know a combat veteran in need of help, the VA has a myriad of resources:

  • VA Office of Mental Health Services
    Provides a range of information on depression, substance abuse, and other mental health problems, to improve the health and well-being of Veterans through excellence in health care, social services, education, and research.

The VA also offers a list of collaborators willing to help veterans living with PTSD.

  • afterdeployment.org
    A mental wellness resource for Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families.
  • BraveHeart Welcome Back Veterans Southeast Initiative*
    Our mission is to offer veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war and their families: education about PTSD, self-assessment and support resources, and assistance in accessing treatment services in the southeast.
  • Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury
    Provides authoritative information and resources 24/7 to Service Members, Veterans, and families, and those who support them.
    Contact: resources@dcoeoutreach.org or 1-866-966-1020.
  • Home Base Program
    The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program provides clinical care and support services in New England area to veterans of the current conflicts, who experience combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI); counseling for families including parents and children; education for clinicians and other community members; and research in the understanding and treatment of PTSD and TBI.
  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
    ISTSS is an international, interdisciplinary professional organization that promotes advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress. This knowledge includes: Understanding the scope and consequences of traumatic exposure, preventing traumatic events and ameliorating their consequences and advocating for the field of traumatic stress.
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network
    A Center to improve access to care, treatment, and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events and to encourage and promote collaboration between service providers in the field.
  • National Resource Directory
    A tri-agency Web portal that connects wounded warriors, Service members, Veterans, their families and caregivers with those who support them. Links to 10,000+ resources.
  • Office of Recovery Act Coordination U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    Recovery Act-funded programs are being invested in improving health and human services, including areas such as community health services, research, prevention and wellness.
  • Real Warriors Campaign
    The Real Warriors Campaign is a multimedia public education campaign sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to encourage help-seeking behavior among service members and veterans with invisible wounds.
  • Veterans on Deck
    This is a 501c3 nonprofit designed by VA PTSD clinicians and researchers to compliment evidence based psychotherapy with opportunities for social interaction and community reintegration of PTSD and MST Veterans through team sailing with PTSD clinicians.
  • Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
    The VVA is a congressionally chartered not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to improving the condition of Vietnam-era Veterans and their families.
  • WarriorCare.mil
    A blog that provides wounded, ill, injured and transitioning Service members and their families with information on programs and initiatives that affect them.

PTSD: Who, What, Where and How to Get Help

Courtesy of the VA National Center for PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually associated with returning combat veterans, but did you know civilians can experience it too?

Living through a traumatic event can stress almost anyone and leave them with PTSD-like symptoms such as being jumpy or having nightmares, but that does not mean you have PTSD.

Bottom line whether military or civilian, we all need to know more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Enter the VA’s National Center for PTSD which has established PTSD Awareness Day June 27, 2011.

Why wait? Here’s a very comprehensive web page on Everything You Want to Know About PTSD and Should Ask About courtesy of Veterans Today.

PTSD Category Symptoms:

  • Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

If you think you may have PTSD, here’s an online PTSDĀ  Screening Tool.

Children and adults, military and civilian, anyone can develop PTSD. The key is recognizing the symptoms and getting help early with the PTSD and any other related problems.

  • Depression
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Employment or school problems
  • Relationships problems
  • Physical symptoms

It’s important that everyone understand PTSD even if it’s not touched your family or friends, but if it has, you can help a family member. Here’s a list of where to get help for PTSD.

PTSD Awareness Day is just over a week away, you have time to study up and help someone, maybe yourself.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Visit www.ptsd.va.gov to learn more about trauma and PTSD. Special postings will be made each week throughout June.
  • Print educational materials from the site to hand out.
  • Post a PTSD Awareness Day flyer (PDF) in a common area, where it can be seen.
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