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Honoring National PTSD Awareness Day June 27, 2012

Today is National PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Day.  For many Americans, living with PTSD is a daily reality-- for them and for their loved ones.   About 3.5% of American adults experience PTSD in any given year.

Those impacted by PTSD, including those experiencing an active recovery from PTSD, include but are not limited to children and adults who have been sexually assaulted, physically or emotionally abused, combat veterans and their family members, survivors of natural disasters, and those of us who experience or witness a life-threatening accident.

People of any age who have experienced an overwhelming or life-threatening event often have common reactions to the event, such as trouble sleeping, jumpiness, and upsetting memories of the event.  When these common reactions are not going away, a survivor should seek professional help to explore the possibility of PTSD.

Identifying PTSD, accessing professional help, and getting support from others are keys to recovery.  Here are just two of many resources toward getting help and supporting others with PTSD:

1) PTSD Coach Smart Phone App, created by the VA’s National Center for PTSD:  while this application should not be considered a replacement for professional help, the PTSD Coach app is an on the go, always available resource for people with PTSD and those who love them.  It is even used by staff of crisis hotlines and other community support programs as an additional resource.  The app contains information on PTSD and treatment options, screening and symptom tracking tools, tips on skills to handle stress, and direct links to support and help.

Download the mobile PTSD Coach Smart Phone App: PTSD Coach download from: iTunes* and Android Market*

2) 12 Ways Community Members Can Help, taken from The National Center for PTSD’s excellent web resources, at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/12_ways_to_help.asp

 

  1. Watch videos in AboutFace, an online gallery dedicated to Veterans talking about how PTSD treatment turned their lives around.
  2. Think broadly. When trauma happens, family, friends, coworkers and community are affected too.
  3. Learn about common reactions to trauma and readjustment after war to life at home.
  4. Be aware of where to get help for PTSD, including specific resources for Veterans.
  5. Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified (assessed) and treated.
  6. Know that treatment for PTSD can help.
  7. Ask if talking would help, but do not push if someone is not ready to discuss their trauma.
  8. Realize that getting people to talk or seek help from a therapist is not always easy. Your encouragement matters. Families of Veterans can reach out to Coaching Into Care for help finding the right words.
  9. Know the facts. More than half of US adults will experience trauma in their lifetime. About 7 out of 100 will get PTSD at some point. For Veterans and people who have been through violence and abuse the number is higher.
  10. Connect with self-help resources, apps, and videos about PTSD.
  11. Share handouts, brochures, or wallet cards about trauma and PTSD.
  12. Keep informed through our PTSD Monthly Update, Facebook, and Twitter.
For more information about Walden Sierra (Walden Behavioral Health’s) advocacy, crisis, counseling, and mental health services for victims of trauma, go to www.waldensierra.org or contact us if in Southern Maryland at 301-997-1300.

Note:  No post of Walden Sierra (Walden Behavioral Health’s) Behavioral Health Blog is to be considered medical or therapeutic advice.